Thursday, October 19, 2017

Koeman eyes European return with top-six finish

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Apr 2016

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Ronald Koeman is confident Southampton can seal a return to European football without needing to surpass the 60 points they achieved in the Premier League last season.

Southampton’s continental adventure was short-lived at the start of the current campaign as they were beaten 2-1 by Midtjylland in the Europa League play-off round.

However, with six games remaining they sit seventh in the table with 47 points, four adrift of West Ham in the final qualifying spot.

“Of course we can make [Europe], but it starts by winning a game,” Koeman said ahead of Saturday’s clash with strugglers Newcastle United.

“You need points, you need wins. We had not a good result last week [a 1-0 defeat to leaders Leicester City] but the teams around us also did the same, so that means we can take a big step by winning on Saturday.

“That will be difficult but that’s part of the Premier League for this season, all the teams don’t have the same points as last season. There’s more unpredictable games and results in the whole season, I think less than 60 points will be enough for European football.”

Southampton will be without midfielder Steven Davis this weekend after he picked up an injury against Leicester. 

Koeman added: “Steven Davis is not fit because he took an injury during the last game, but Shane Long is back.

“From what I have heard, normally he [Davis] will be out for two to three weeks. I don’t know if he will be available for next weekend. I hope that he will but we have to wait.

“Normally he starts every game and that means he’s key, but we have very good replacements for his position.”

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