Ronald Koeman spoke to the media following his side’s 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup Fourth Round at St Mary’s on Saturday.
Here’s what Koeman had to say:
On how he assessed the 3-2 defeat to Palace…
For the fans maybe [it was entertaining] because after 22 minutes it was 22, but too much mistakes. If I talk about defensive organisation, normally one of the strengths of the team, but not today.
They were not working together, there was too much space in the positions defending. They punished us to score three times and maybe to miss another two goals and that was the problem the first 45 minutes.
We controlled it a little bit but defensively very poor. You can’t defend like that with the qualities what they have in front, the confidence they have.
Second half was much better but not good enough to score more and score the draw at least. A bad first half defensively was why we lost.
On Shane Long’s injury…
I spoke to the doctor and he thought he will have fractured one or two ribs and that’s very painful. It’s a pity because we don’t have that number of players to go with all the injuries that we have. Normally it will be three, four or five weeks.
On whether he will now look to strengthen before the end of January…
We have one week and we will think about it. We know our situation, we know about the players who are injured and when they come back, but when you look to the bench, there is Shane and the rest under-21s, so that’s difficult.
I like to have a squad to go with what we are doing until now. We know maybe for one game we can change and bring in young players but not until the end of the season. Normally, the players will come back in for two or three weeks.
On making the defensive change at half-time…
Florin [Gardos] was not playing good and in the first minute of the game he did a mistake and I think that is all about concentration. It was not only Florin, but the whole team working in defending.
I think in the second half I put Ryan [Bertrand] in that position at least in our ball possession we have a left-back in that position and that was much better.
On bad luck with injuries…
That’s part of football. We knew before the season if we got this kind of number of injured players then we will get problems, that’s normal.
Still, we are third in the league and I am not worried about that, I am worried about what we showed in defence in the first 45 minutes.
On it being a blow to go out with other big teams losing too…
Everybody will say the same. It’s a pity because the big ones are out of the FA Cup and you know it’s difficult to beat every team, not about the level because everybody is fighting to win games in the FA Cup.
It was a difficult one, we knew it before. Crystal Palace are doing well with a new manager and they punished the mistakes we did in the first 45 minutes. Now total focus is to the Premier League.