Koeman Wants To Keep Squad Together
Newly installed manager Ronald Koeman has said he knows that he and the club will do everything they can to keep those players often linked with moves away this summer.
Following the departure of Rickie Lambert to Liverpool, the futures of Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Morgan Schneiderlin have all been in doubt owing the press reports, and although still not confirmed, it's been said that Dejan Lovren has submitted a formal transfer request as well this summer.
Our new 51 year old boss certainly has his work cut out for him in keeping those players, should the rumours prove to be in anyway true.
Speaking to saintsfc as he entered his first official day as our new manager, the former Dutch international defender said.
'I've read about the history of the club and they've made good movements in the last few years into the Premier League. The club has changed a lot. Last season was a fantastic season for the club and we'd like to continue that using the philosophy with young players with a lot of ambition that I as coach also share.'
Part of that Koeman accepts is first dealing with the issues and speculation that surrounds certain players, and he's more than aware of what has been written and reportedly said, as he has done his homework as you would expect.
'I read some things about the squad and I've seen the rumours about players. I think the club and I will do everything to keep the best players but the final decision will be with the club.'
As we move closer to pre season now, he says he already knows about the players we have on our playing staff, and he's been watching DVD's of them, and reading information about them so he can be as best prepared for day one of pre season training as he can be, but he appreciates that can only tell him so much, he has to get among the group before he can really know them as players and men.
'The only way to know players is by starting training on the pitch and it's easier for me to see the qualities of the squad here. In general, my first impression is very positive.'
Whilst our new gaffer can speak four languages, he admits his grasp of English at the minute is 'not so perfect' but he has of course now spent a significant amount of time in Spain and Portugal, so as he continues learning about the club, he will also be settling into life in the country and brushing up on his English.
Whilst he has a transition himself, his ambitions for the club and the progress he wants to make, won't be held back.
'The plan is to continue what we've done and maybe to reach something more, by winning prizes and maybe on day to play in European cups. I think that has to be the next steps for Southampton and we will do that which is important to everybody.'
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