TALKING POINTS: Koeman's pre-Everton press conference

By SFC Media Thu 02 Apr Club

Ronald Koeman spoke to the media on Thursday ahead of Southampton's game against Everton at Goodison Park in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.

Here's what he had to say:

On Jay Rodriguez…

It is all about how he is going until the next four weeks. If that’s going well, he can be part of that, but if I say it is four weeks, it depends four or five weeks.

That means that in that planning he will do exercises with the group, he will do sessions with the group and then you have to wait to see how he is responding about playing a game. It is not like in four weeks he will play.

It’s all about how he is progressing in the next few weeks, but until now it is going well and it’s going faster now than the period behind us.

If he is ready to play, of course he will start with the Under-21s because that’s lower intensity, that’s more comfortable. After so long then that’s the step you have to make.

RON IN 60 SECONDS: @RonaldKoeman on team news ahead of Saturday, @FraserForster and @JayRodriguez9. #saintsfc

— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) April 2, 2015

On having more numbers in the team if his side are in Europe next season…

It is one side that you learn and one side what you know about playing in Europe. That is more difficult, that is tougher than if you have to focus only on the Premier League.

W ehave more international players than Southampton ever had, because there was 17 away the last ten days. That is a new situation for the players as well.

It is a new situation for Pellè, it’s a new situation for Fonte and it’s a new situation for Clyne and Bertrand. They don’t have that experience and if you play in Europe, that is a tough programme.

On Fraser Forster…

He’s down, of course. I spoke with Fraser last week and the operation that he had last week was okay, but he will be out for a long time, at least for this season. Then we have to know and to wait until when he is out. That’s difficult in this moment.

If you say it’s four months, if you say it’s seven months, after seven months you will get the question ‘how is the situation with Fraser?’ At least this season and then we will see for next season.

He’s a fantastic goalkeeper and he was and is the number one for us, but like very player you always need good substitutes for that position and Kelvin Davis is a very experienced goalkeeper.

He played against Burnley, very good and he had fantastic saves in that game and he has a lot of experience and that’s important in the last eight games so far this season.

On Everton…

It’s a tough test because I think Everton deserve a higher position on the table because I like the way they play football. I like the way how Roberto Martinez is doing his job.

They have good individual qualities in the squad but it’s a difficult season for them. I think one of the reasons because they play Europa League on Thursday and the risk to have more players injured is there.

Now I think the team is more confident, but it will be a tough game. It will be a nice one what I said before. I like how they lay, but we play a little bit the same, because the way that we play is about winning and not about controlling and defending.

That makes the game a little bit more open than I think what it normally is.

On how an Under-21 tournament this summer can help young players…

The competition on the highest level is important for them and is the case for people like James Ward-Prowse. He wasn’t playing in the last few games and he got the possibility to show his qualities. 

That was good for his confidence. He scored a goal, he played well and that’s good for the confidence of the player. I believe in development they need competition against other countries like Germany.

I think if England Under-21s play a tournament this summer they need all the young players. The players are allowed to play even when they play in the first national team. It’s a big tournament for them and it’s good for young players.

On lessons to be learned from Everton…

Still the Europa League is more difficult than the Champions League because you play on Thursday and you have to travel maybe on Friday and Sunday – it’s only two days.

If you play Champions League then you still have three or four days. For the club it is important, for the players it is important because it’s a nice experience and you have to handle with the squad about the freshness of the players.

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