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

By SFC Media time Fri 11 Jul Club

A summary of the press conference held with Ronald Koeman and the written press about his first month in charge at Southampton.

On the players’ mood when he arrived…

“They know that’s the story in football, that players are moving, players are coming in and the important message that I gave was that we will keep the philosophy, we will keep the ambition of the club, and if we will lose some players we will bring in new players with the same qualities, or even better qualities, if that is possible, and that’s important. But players know that these stories happen in all the clubs.

“I had some meetings, some small talks with some players, and they are still proud and they still have the ambition they had last season. Of course, they like to see new players coming in, because that brings the team back in the quality what we need to continue with the success of this football club.”

On dealing with changes to personnel…

“Yes, of course, we did that from the first day that we came into the dressing room, because that message is important, and the players like that message, because they see the players who left the club. One thing is to say ambition, the other thing is to show that ambition, and we are trying to do that in this pre-season, because we need some more time to show that to all the players.

“You like to have the players all happy in Southampton, or all happy that they like to play for Southampton. It’s normal. When there’s somebody unhappy come to me or go to the board and we will have a talk about that. But, first of all, we have to do everything to keep these kind of football players for Southampton. It is our job, there’s the contract, and the rest, OK, it’s finally the decision of the board of the club.”

On money raised by transfers being reinvested into the squad…

“Yes, I spoke to the club and there is money to spend and there is money to continue the qualities in the team, and to bring new players in. Sometimes it’s good to bring new players in, because we are a little bit changing the team. I’m the new manager and we have time to prepare ourselves, and that’s good, but, again, we have to wait for that.”

On whether he was brought in solely for developing youth players and selling them on… 

“No, it’s different. You can’t compare Holland with England, because Southampton is much bigger than we expect out in Holland and the possibilities of Southampton are much bigger than the possibilities in Holland and we try to continue what they did in the last few seasons, and that’s not selling all the players. If you like to continue and if we like to do something more we have to keep hold of that kind of football players. I know and I understand all the situations, but they have contracts, they have contracts.

“It’s the same in Holland that the young players don’t have the patience to wait for a good moment to choice, or to go for a bigger club, but that’s part of football. All these come out of the season for last year, that they had a great season and they play wonderful games and then there is interest. As a manager of Southampton I have to do everything to keep all the best players, to keep all the key players in the team. Again, the final decision is of the board of the club."

On the perception that Southampton is a selling club…

“We sold three players, that’s good enough. It’s good enough money, and now we will keep the rest, because we will continue what they did last season.

“That’s the situation. We said in Southampton, OK, this is it, we are not a selling club, the players have some years contracts and we don’t sell any more players, and we will do that, and we will keep that.”

On players in last year of contracts, e.g Fonte and Cork…

“That’s a little bit too fast to have that kind of opinion. I need more time. But they are important players and always, if they will come in last season of contract, you have to do something at the club, and we will talk about that and we will make decisions about that. But it’s a little bit too early now.”

On targets for the season…

“No, it’s not about a place in the league. I think you reach your target if you work every day on the system, on the players, and the players are professionals. We will train hard, we will train systems, we will train football, exercises, and that makes our development for this season, and if that will be eighth place, seventh, tenth, it’s not only the place, it’s what we did and how we do that and the way of playing. My feeling, my opinion about football, if I can bring that in that’s very important.”

On a new captain…

“Normally we will continue, but you will see it next week, because we will start friendly matches.”

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