Ronald Koeman says he’s very pleased to have both Maya Yoshida and Sadio Mané available ahead of Sunday’s game against Swansea City.
The duo both reported back to Staplewood this week after disappointment on the international scene, with Yoshida’s Japan losing in the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup and Mané’s Senegal heading out after the group stages of the Africa Cup of Nations.
The form of both before they headed away on international duty was impressive, and Saints boss Koeman is happy to have both available for the visit of the Swans.
“Yes of course I am pleased,” Koeman told Southampton’s official YouTube channel. “Because our squad was very small in the last few games.
“Okay, maybe they are not very happy that Maya lost the game in the Asian Cup and Sadio in the Africa Cup but it gives the coach and the team more possibilities to have those kind of players back.”
Victor Wanyama, Morgan Schneiderlin and Toby Alderwiereld all missed last weekend’s game against Crystal Palace, and the win at Newcastle United, and Koeman has ruled them out of Sunday’s game.
While he is hopeful of having them back available in the near future, he confirmed Shane Long, who picked up an injury in last weekend’s FA Cup defeat, would be out for a number of weeks.
“They are doing well (Wanyama, Schneiderlin and Alderweireld),” Koeman added. “They are close to being back but not for this Sunday. Hopefully we will have these players available for next week.
“Shane is out for three to four weeks more because he has fractured one of his ribs and it’s very painful, that’s a shame.”
With a week since the game against Crystal Palace, Koeman says it was a good opportunity to get out on the training ground and work on certain aspects, something that they found difficult to do in previous weeks.
“It’s the first week we really have had time to do our training sessions,” Koeman explained. “In the last few weeks we played a lot, it was about recovering and preparing for the next game.
“Now at least we can do some unit training and that was I think two months ago before.”