Southampton boss Ronald Koeman has responded light-heartedly to claims from former Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino that he inherited a “winning team” when he took over at St Mary’s in the summer.
“You have to say that they invested close to 80million euros (£59.8million) in the summer and it was already a winning team on the up,” he was quoted as saying to Catalan radio station RAC1.
“When we arrived at Southampton in January of 2013 they had the team that had conceded the most goals in the league. It was a team with a lot of problems, with players like Adam Lallana who wasn’t playing and Luke Shaw who wasn’t playing but in one and a half years we turned it round.”
But Koeman hit back when questioned about Pochettino’s remarks ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with managerless QPR.
“First of all, it was on Spanish radio so I don’t know exactly what was said and if the comments were really like that,” said the Dutchman.
“He is free to give his opinions, I’m happy in Southampton and thank you Mauricio; I have an easy job!
“That is the reason that I came to Southampton, to have a little holiday with everything organised, a good team and good players. I’m joking! I have no comments.”
“It is feeling like my side because we had to make a lot of changes in the team,” he added.
“The way the club is doing makes it easier for the manager, Pochettino, (former owner) Markus Liebherr and (head of football development) Les Reed, they have all done a fantastic job in Southampton and, as a manger, you need those people to work well in a good structure – that is the best quality of Southampton Football Club.
“We don’t have a lot of people but the confidence I have as the manager is very good. We had to change the team because we lost a lot of good players. Working with the scouting, we brought in good players and the adaptation was easy and the team is working well. The spirit is fantastic but there are different reasons (for that).
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