Koeman: We must take heart from Hammers opening

By SFC Media time Fri 01 Jan Men's First team

Ronald Koeman insists that his players should take encouragement from their first-half showing at West Ham on Monday.

Saints play their second away match of the week tomorrow, as they head to Norwich City looking to bounce back from a 2-1 defeat at the Boleyn Ground.

With a few days’ reflection, Koeman says that the opening 45 minutes’ performance in east London was among Saints’ best halves of the season.

“I'm disappointed about the final result, but not about the way we played football – and that's sometimes difficult to explain,” the manager told youtube.com/southamptonfc as he previewed tomorrow’s trip to Carrow Road.

“We played very good in the first 45 minutes and also in the second half we had some good counter-attacking movements, but the final result was bad.

“I think it was a very good 45 minutes – we pressed well and were the dominating team with the best chances of the game. 

“It's important to score the second [goal] because, if you score that, it's all about the belief of the opponent. At one-nil, with one bad moment they can draw the game – and that's what happened. That's difficult to take.

“I think the team is playing much better – like against Arsenal, but also against West Ham – than we did before. It's strange because we don't have the results that our performances deserved.

“I think we fought and we did everything to have a better result against West Ham,” Koeman continued. “so we need to be more clinical. 

“That's one of the reasons why sometimes we have difficulties to kill the game, because we left them alive. We have enough examples when we score the second one that it's an easy game to finish. 

“Like I said before, with one mistake it's a totally different game – and that we have to learn. When you get those kind of chances, you have to score.”

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