Saturday 10 December 2016

Koeman scathing after Saints slump

Norwich City 1-0 Southampton

Damian Spellman

Published 03/01/2016 | 02:30

Norwich City's Alex Tettey (right) and Vadis Odjidja-ofoe celebrate after the final whistle
Norwich City's Alex Tettey (right) and Vadis Odjidja-ofoe celebrate after the final whistle
Norwich City's Jonny Howson (left) and Southampton's Ryan Bertrand during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday January 2, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Norwich. Photo credit should read: Chris Radburn/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Southampton's Shane Long (right)holds off Norwich City's Sebastien Bassong during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday January 2, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Norwich. Photo credit should read: Chris Radburn/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
NORWICH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 02: Gaston Ramirez of Southampton and Ryan Bennett of Norwich City compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Southampton at Carrow Road on January 2, 2016 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman openly criticised Sadio Mane and Victor Wanyama after disciplinary problems helped condemn the visitors to defeat at Norwich. Mane was dropped from the starting line-up two hours before kick-off, having arrived late for a team meeting. And Wanyama's 74th-minute red card was swiftly followed by Alex Tettey's winning goal, leaving the Saints with six defeats from their last eight Premier League fixtures.

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"I feel let down by some players, yes of course - because we had a different line-up for the game," said Koeman.

"Sadio was in to start but we have rules in the team and he did a big mistake before the game in our last meeting. He came late and that's impossible. Everybody knows that we have a sanction - you don't start. So then you have to make changes in the team, changes to all the set-pieces, everything. I don't understand it. I don't understand a player that comes in late to the last meeting."

Koeman acknowledged it was the second time Mane had received the sanction. "My message to Sadio two days ago in training was that I didn't think he was really focused and concentrated," Koeman added. "Yes I feel let down by him, but it's felt much more by his team-mates because we are a club where we like to treat everybody very respectfully and you have responsibilities as a player, to the fans, to your team-mates, to your board, to the technical staff.

"Also I'm angry about the second yellow card from Victor because a player with his experience needs to know if you already have a yellow in a game, that you cannot do that tackle in that position on the pitch."

Southampton had the lion's share of control and chances at Carrow Road until being reduced to 10 men, but now find themselves just a point ahead of their newly-promoted hosts.

"We were the dominant team, we had the best chance in the game when Shane Long was put through, and we played some good football," said Koeman.

"But it's so unnecessary what happened because with 11 against 11, still we are stronger than we showed here. I'm angry about players who are not focused and concentrated on the club. That's my worst disappointment."

The story could not be more different for Norwich, with a Tettey winning goal earning all three points like it did at Old Trafford before Christmas. Those victories bookend a run of three wins from four Premier League games that have lifted the Canaries six points clear of the relegation zone. Many of the plaudits headed the way of forward Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe, whose introduction on the hour helped conjure up the game's only goal.

"We had three real good chances in the first half, and unfortunately we couldn't take any of them," said Norwich manager Alex Neil. "There was a lull in the game at about the hour mark and we needed to force the issue - which is when Vadis came on and I thought he really injected some quality and creativity going forward, and he created the goal for us. I'm over the moon with the boys, because when you are going through difficult spells, there have been questions posed, and the best way to deal with it is to win games. We've won some crucial games and kept two clean sheets as well, so there are a lot of positives to take."

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