TALKING POINTS: Koeman's first press conference – part one

By SFC Media time Fri 11 Jul First team

Ronald Koeman addressed the media for the first time on Friday afternoon, speaking to the broadcast and written media.

Here are the key talking points from the broadcast section of his first briefing:

On why he chose to come to Southampton…

After I finished my job as a coach in Holland for Feyenoord I had a talk with my agent about my future as a manager and a coach and I had a great feeling to look for some opportunities to be a manager of one of the clubs in the Premier League.

After we had the first contact with Southampton and after my first meeting with Les Reed my feeling about this club was very positive and finally I signed a contract. 

I think that in the Premier League is the most strongest competition in Europe – there’s a great ambience in all the stadiums, great players, great managers and that is a nice target for a new manager.

On losing Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana…

The first meeting with Les Reed was open and clear. The information was clear about the squad, about the players and I knew at that moment [about] Lambert, Lallana, Shaw. 

After that we said we are not a selling club – we like to keep the rest of the good players and even bring new players in.

We will continue with the philosophy of Southampton Football Club and that means we like to bring in young players, to continue what they did last season and still we have that ambition to go forward.

On Dejan Lovren…

I don’t know. I spoke to Les Reed and I spoke two times to Dejan and he was very clear about his situation. He said it was a difficult situation and he will have another talk to the club and his agent but he’s still a player for Southampton and he has to come back.

I said I am the new manager and I’d like to keep all the players, and Dejan is an important player in an important position.

He has a contract, he has to come back this Sunday but I don’t know what will happen after this. First of all we like to keep all that information in the club and not the press and that was not good on his side. It’s not good the club, not good for the rest of the players or himself. We will speak about that.

Of course you like to have all the players in the squad happy and happy to play for Southampton. If there is a different opinion we will speak about that and the final decision is with the board of the club.

On Graziano Pellè…

It’s close but still not signed. We hope maybe this weekend to have him as the second new player of Southampton.

On Dušan Tadić…

Tadić is a great player, who scores [and] makes assists. I know him very well from the competition in Holland and he’s very similar in the qualities of [Adam] Lallana and he’s a great player for us.

On rebuilding the team…

It’s a big challenge because they did a great season last year. We are used in Holland to working with young players every season to rebuild the team.

I have a lot of experience in that and I am looking forward because I am happy with the training [and] all the exercises.

We need more time. We know in football in the first two or three weeks you do not have the squad you will have finally when the competition is starting. It’s a normal situation.

On his coaching style…

I am a manager who likes to see my team playing good football. I think that’s important.

I like to play attractive [football] – it’s one of the philosophies of Southampton Football Club – and I like to bring in young players. We have a great academy in Southampton and a lot of young players in the squad at this moment.

I had a great experience as a football player. I can smell what happens in the team and the dressing room and I look forward to that. It is my first time in England and maybe it will be different but I will find my way to do that.

On his ambitions at Southampton…

After ten days working with the first team, I am impressed with the training facilities and with how the boys are doing the training sessions, and the character and ambitions of the players.

Everything is organised and is like a real family. I like that because I’m an open communicator. Every person in the club is an important person because we need everybody to bring Southampton forward. That’s a great feeling.

On improving on last season…

That’s part of our philosophy. What they did last season was fantastic. It’s a new season for everybody but we’d like to continue what we did at Southampton the last few years.

For this season if we come in seventh, eighth [or] ninth, we will keep to the philosophy of the club. That brings the success and we are working very hard for that.

It’s important that the rest of the players have to keep that ambition. I spoke to some experienced players like José Fonte, Steven Davis, because they have to keep that ambition in the dressing room.

They are happy to be players of Southampton and I promised them – and I promise the fans – that, when we start the season, we will have a very good team.

On signings…

We have some positions [where] we need players. Everybody knows it. I don’t like to talk about individual players but we need some to bring competition between the players.

We have a great scouting staff and every day we talk about new players and we talk about the team and about the young players and about the under-21s. 

On young players…

There’s a lot of potential – you don’t need three months for that, you see that in three or four days. We have great talents who still have to show all their qualities, but I’m the manager and the club is in this philosophy that they look at opportunities to come into the first team.

On Jay Rodriguez’s recovery… 

It’s going well. He is working very hard to come back but he’s still in the third, fourth, fifth month of that and he needs some more time to recuperate from the injury he had. He is working very hard and I am impressed how he is doing.

It’s very tough when the team is starting training sessions and you have to go inside for fitness. You need a strong character and he is showing that but he will come back and maybe he will be the best transfer in the winter break.

On Dani Osvaldo…

He has a contract and what happened last season I don’t know. It wasn’t my problem. Of course I like to have a good, real atmosphere in the team. 

He wasn’t in Southampton at the time he had to be. We heard from the agent and the medical that he is ill and we wait until he comes back. 

We go to Belgium this Sunday and he has to come back to train on his own because he’s too late and then we will have the talk between the club and the player.

On Morgan Schneiderlin…

We don’t have any bids for Schneiderlin. I spoke to Morgan last week and he comes back in two weeks because all the players in the World Cup get three weeks off. He is a player of Southampton and he will be a player of Southampton.

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