We must improve on Palace display, says Koeman

By SFC Media time Fri 30 Jan First team

Ronald Koeman says his side may well be catching Swansea City at a good time, but it’s up to them to improve on last weekend’s performance against Crystal Palace if they want to win the game.

Koeman’s side conceded three goals inside the first half against Alan Pardew’s Palace as they were knocked out of the FA Cup, eventually losing 3-2.

Swansea City themselves were also knocked out of the competition last weekend, losing 3-1 to Blackburn Rovers, and have endured a difficult run of late.

While Koeman believes it may be a good time for his side to take on Garry Monk’s Swans, he says they must learn from their performance against Palace last weekend.

“Of course, Swansea have some changes in the team,” Koeman told Southampton’s official YouTube channel. “They lost a very good striker in Wilfried Bony and they don’t have available a good midfield player like Gylfi Sigurdsson who got a red card last week.

“Okay, maybe it’s a good time to play them but then we have to play better than we did last week. I was unhappy about our first half because normally one of our strengths is our defence and teamwork.

“The defending was very poor in the first 45 minutes, if you want to win games, you have to defend better. Maybe the way Swansea play is easier to defend.

“Crystal Palace played very direct football and physical. Normally Swansea is a team who likes to play football, they don’t play long balls, maybe it’s easier, but we have to be prepared.”

After wins against Manchester United and Newcastle United, Saints sit third in the Premier League table with 16 games of the season to go and Koeman says it’s important his side get February off to a good start against the Swans.

“The next few games we need to show that we can keep going and that we have the spirit until the end of the season,” Koeman added. “That starts on Sunday, what happens after we have to wait, the most important thing is this Sunday.

“We always try to analyse all the games but most attention this week was about the first 45 minutes against Crystal Palace because we have to do better. That was the focus, we will see how we start on Sunday.”

Gallery: The hard work continues SFC_Camera
First team

Gallery: The hard work continues

Saints stay in shape during the international break.

timeFri 26 Mar
photo Gallery: Keeping pace Hasenhüttl: Smallbone can return stronger Classic match: Boufal's brilliance blitzes Baggies time4 hours ago
West Bromwich Albion v Saints

Classic match: Boufal's brilliance blitzes Baggies

Sofiane Boufal's solo stunner clinched the points in 2017.

Match Pack: West Brom vs Saints On This Day: Ward-Prowse nets first league goal