Thursday, March 23, 2017

Koeman happy for Vitesse reunion

Ronald Koeman expressed his satisfaction after Southampton were drawn against one of his former clubs in Vitesse in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.

The Premier League club were handed a tie with the highest unseeded team they could have drawn on Friday, ensuring Koeman a reunion with a club where he spent his first head coaching stint from 2000 to 2001.

Southampton will face Groningen, Feyenoord and Dutch lower league side Quick ’20 in friendlies prior to taking on Vitesse, and Koeman was upbeat over the draw despite being handed a tough test so early in the competition.

“I made a joke before the draw and said that maybe we’d go back to Holland after going for a week of pre-season,” he told Southampton’s official website.

“Now we can say that we go to Holland, which is a good preparation as we get a good view of the Dutch league and the Dutch level and of course we’ll get a little bit of understanding and preparation about the way of playing in Holland. I think that’s a good preparation for the start of the Europa League.

“It’s a good draw. I didn’t have any preference but I think a Dutch team is a good one because it’s close for travelling.

“In the possibilities that we had to draw maybe it’s the worst of that, but we have to show that we are a better team than Vitesse.

“It’s nice because it was my first club starting coaching as a head coach, that’s nice to come back.

“We’ll play against a good team and one that likes to play football, and we will see what happens – we are a better team than Vitesse, and we have two games to show that.”

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