Ronald Koeman spoke to the media after Southampton beat Everton 3-0 at St Mary’s in the Barclays Premier League.
Here’s what the manager had to say to the assembled press:
On whether it was his side’s most important win of the season…
We hope so. Of course I think it’s always after some defeats you have always a different way of losing a game. We were very disappointed about last Tuesday and then always the answer is on the pitch and we had a great, unbelievable spirit.
We changed the system and it’s always important if you change the system the players need to be comfortable in that system and we spoke about that and had two sessions to do that in a different way and we had good organisation.
I think the key to winning was winning the battles in midfield. Harry Reed was outstanding, he was showing a lot of energy and you need that to play and have the best of yourself.
Maybe the first goal was a little bit lucky but second half we controlled the game, they didn’t create a lot, Fraser [Forster] had two fantastic saves in the last 15 minutes. The team was outstanding and the team was the key to win the game.
On Harrison Reed’s performance on his first start in the Barclays Premier League…
He played I think his best position, in front of the three centre backs and he had always a good feeling with the rest of the midfield to do the pressing. He put a lot of energy by himself and that gave the rest of the players the same energy. He was outstanding.
I saw in the last two days in the training sessions he was very comfortable and confident. I think that’s his best position to play. He showed an unbelievable spirit, good character and won battles in the midfield and that’s important.
It’s good for young players to play, to get a debut, to play in the first team because that means a lot to young players and we know that.
On how important it was to win without key players…
I think with the situation it was important to win. We didn’t have some good players but the message and the answer what the lads gave was all about the spirit what they had to show.
We know about our fans, they are always supporting the team but I understood why they were very disappointed about last Tuesday. That was the message – you can talk, you can show, but the answer always is on the pitch and we showed that.
On the club’s Academy and having five young players on the bench…
We have a lot of talent and that means that the Academy is working on a high level. We need the Academy because we can’t spend the money what different teams will spend on big players.
We don’t do that, we need young players. I was not nervous about that, I was nervous that we needed a win but not to put in young ones or have the bench we had.
On the change of formation…
Always first you have to look at your own team. There was a moment after the defeats to change that. We had some injuries, some suspensions and also the reason was because I like the Everton team.
I like how they play and it’s difficult to control that and with five behind, with the three midfielders we had a good control and they didn’t have that space to play and that was important.
We deserved it because we played well out of good organisation and were sharp in the box. We didn’t create a lot but we scored three times.
On whether Saints are now back on track…
We hope so. We work hard to keep going, to continue what we are doing. It was difficult because we had four or five defeats in the last weeks. Sometimes we were unlucky, as we didn’t play bad, but not so good as in the first part of the season.
It’s always the best medicine to come back to what we showed in the beginning of the season.