Friday 21 October 2016

Ronald Koeman finds room for improvement despite Southampton win

Published 26/09/2015 | 17:55

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman, right, was not entirely happy despite his side's victory
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman, right, was not entirely happy despite his side's victory

Ronald Koeman showed just how tough he is to please by criticising his players following a 3-1 win over Swansea.

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Goals from Virgil Van Dijk, Dusan Tadic and Sadio Mane saw Saints cruising towards victory just after the hour mark at St Mary's.

But perfectionist Koeman rapped his players for giving Swansea a glimmer of hope through Gylfi Sigurdsson's late penalty.

"I'm satisfied with three points, yes, but maybe it was the best game of the season clinical-wise," said Koeman.

"We didn't create a lot of chances but we scored three times. But the performance was not very good, there were a lot of mistakes in possession.

"The w in is important but it was not the best performance of the season.

"Swansea had some good chances, free shots, and we had to defend in depth much better than we did.

"We got the early goal, the second just after half-time, and then 3-0! But I expect more than just defending the result. Then you have problems, and they get a penalty. But maybe I'm too critical.

"It's not easy to win against Swansea, or to score against Swansea, but we have to control the game much better than we did."

Koeman's verdict seemed harsh given the ease with which they swept aside a poor Swansea, certainly for the first hour of the match.

Van Dijk, the £13million deadline-day signing from Celtic, powered in a header from James Ward-Prowse's corner to give them a 10th-minute lead.

Tadic doubled the advantage shortly after half-time when he latched onto Graziano Pelle's clever ball and his angled shot was deflected over Lukasz Fabianski.

Mane then grabbed his third goal in a week, following his double in the 6-0 Capital One Cup romp at MK Dons, with a fine strike from 20 yards.

Swansea got their consolation in the 82nd minute, Jose Fonte chopping down Neil Taylor and Sigurdsson scoring from the spot, but Garry Monk had more reason to lay into his players than Koeman.

"It was very disappointing," said the Swans boss. "That's two away games, today and at Watford, where we have been well below our usual standards.

"It's not good enough from us and it's not good enough for me. We are making uncharacteristic decisions and individual errors. The goals came from individual errors and we got punished.

"They deserved to win but I don't think they played us off the park, it's down to us not being at the right standard. We've shown the levels we can reach this season and we have to be consistent"

Press Association

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