TALKING POINTS: Koeman's pre-Palace press conference

By SFC Media time Mon 02 Mar Club

Ronald Koeman spoke to the media on Monday afternoon ahead of Southampton's Barclays Premier League game against Crystal Palace at St Mary's.

Here's what the manager had to say:

On having another trick up his sleeve in terms of formation…

Normally, my favourite system is the 4-3-3, but sometimes I like to change. It’s very easy to say after the game [against West Brom] that I was wrong, because we lost that game.

But it was a little bit the feeling what we had about the qualities of our opponent in last Saturday, mostly with two strikers, waiting for the counter attack.

We like to build up the game and we can always change if it’s necessary to come back to four defenders and after two minutes it was 1-0 down. Okay, then you can keep going with that system the whole game.

But we had to change, because they dropped still more back and, in my opinion, we had to change the system. But, honestly, if I had to play this game next weekend I would start with five defenders as well.

RON IN 60 SECONDS: @RonaldKoeman on #SaintsFC's recent form, the final 11 games and tomorrow's visit of @CPFC.

— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) March 2, 2015

On how his side are playing…

I think it’s also a lot down to scoring in the game. I think 90 per cent of when we scored the first goal we won the games. That means for us it is a comfortable situation.

But if we are down in the result then it makes it difficult. We still try, we still have the spirit to score, but the opponents make it very difficult for us and then you need to be patient, then you need quality in the last part of the attacking.

We had chances against Swansea, we had good, big chances against West Ham, we had big chances against Liverpool. We had not a lot, maybe one or two, good chances for Graziano Pellè in the last game, but we are creating.

We have now real competition because most of the players are back and have a good freshness at the moment. You can change, of course, because everybody has to be effective in his function, in his role in the team.

On having Toby Alderweireld back…

His quality helps in our ball possession to build up, but I’m very happy about Maya [Yoshida], how he’s playing in the last few games. I think he’s playing and doing very well.

He came back in a very good way from the Asian Cup, but we know the qualities of Toby. That’s a push for everybody if he is back in the team.

On making changes against Palace…

I don’t know, I really don’t know. I will tell the players in a meeting what we have that I still have doubts about players for tomorrow and we have a training session. 

They need to show me how they like to play, show your quality, and we have the meeting after with the technical staff. We will decide the line-up, but I’m not sure at the moment.

On Jay Rodriguez…

Still he is not very close to being part of the training session and I don’t know, I really don’t know. We don’t press the player. The most important is the health of the player and it will be a pity if he is not playing one game this season, most of all for the player himself.

Really to come back in the best physical way is the most important for Jay.

On the upcoming trip away…

We go to Switzerland. I call it a team-building trip and we go from Wednesday morning to Saturday afternoon, together with the team. It’s nice for Ralph Krueger and Katharina Liebherr, because it’s Switzerland.

It’s good publicity for them and it’s good for us. It’s not laying in 30 degrees on the beach. We do a little bit of a healthier trip. It’s good for the body, it’s good for the mind to come back and to prepare the next game.

Watch Saints in the FA Cup from hospitality

Watch Saints in the FA Cup from hospitality

Check out the options for watching Saints' fifth round FA Cup tie from a private box, lounge or bar.

timeFri 03 Feb
Latest Fans Forum date confirmed photo Gallery: Saints go Stateside
Listen live: Saints vs Crystal Palace
Saints vs Crystal Palace

Listen live: Saints vs Crystal Palace

Listen live to Southampton FC Women's Crystal Palace clash.

time2 hours ago
Extended highlights: Brentford 3-0 Saints Highlights: Brentford 3-0 Saints