TALKING POINTS: Koeman’s pre-Palace press conference

By SFC Media time Thu 25 Dec Men's First team

Ronald Koeman spoke to the media on Tuesday ahead of Southampton’s game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Barclays Premier League.

Here’s what the Saints manager had to say to the media:

On Saints being fifth at Christmas…

I said last week if they showed me a piece of paper to sign at Christmas to be fifth on the list I would be very proud, very happy about that. We had a bad two or three weeks with some defeats, sometimes unlucky, and we had a good last game against Everton. We played out of good organisation and we got back our confidence. Winning games makes good confidence for the players.

On Harrison Reed being given the opportunity to play again…

If I have confidence in a player then the player has possibilities to play. He started in the team and that means a lot for the player. It means the coaching staff has a lot of confidence in the player because it was a difficult situation after some defeats.

It was a good moment to bring Harry in with the energy that he gave to the team. It was a good position to play. We had some injuries, we had some suspensions, I think it was the right moment for Harry.

For young players it is always good to have a chance like that. For the whole Academy they see that there are possibilities and you get chances if you are doing well, working well, working hard. We believe in our young players.

On Dušan Tadić…

Dušan had some physical problems. He had some days off and he had some therapies and he looks normal, what he was before. He was OK in the session on Thursday.

On Crystal Palace’s Yannick Bolasie…

Always in the team you have players who make decisions in the technical part of football and he is one of those players. He’s fast, he’s strong and he’s got a good left foot.

We have to give attention to that because he is an important player for them in an attacking way but they have a good defensive organisation. It wasn’t easy for Man City to break them down.

It’s a difficult one because maybe it’s a little more direct football, they have physically strong players, strong in set pieces and we have to prepare for that. Of course Bolasie is one of the creative, attacking players they have and it’s always difficult.

On whether he will look to strengthen anywhere else other than attack in January…

I don’t think we need a defender, I don’t think we need a midfielder. Only in front we have not a lot of options. When we started the season I was waiting for Jay Rodriguez to have him back in January and he isn’t back now. Sam Gallagher has an injury and we have to wait how he comes back after his injury and that makes it a little more difficult. That’s the reason we look outside to bring in a new attacker.

On whether he will switch formation against Crystal Palace…

First of all, we have to be prepared for the team, for the way Crystal Palace play and we will do that. We have to see if everybody is available and then we have to make that choice.

Normally my favourite system is 4-3-3 but maybe we keep going like that system [against Everton]. Maybe we will change to what we had before. I don’t know.

On whether Christmas with his family will be different this year…

Only the fact they have to come to Southampton but my kids like football very much. One is behind here in the auditorium, but they are lucky to see Southampton vs Chelsea and Southampton vs Arsenal. Everybody in Holland likes to come to those matches.

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