Friday, July 28, 2017

Koeman hopeful on Mane fitness

SoccerNews in English Premier League 23 Aug 2015

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Southampton manager Ronald Koeman says Sadio Mane’s injury does not look “too bad” and is hopeful the forward can feature in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.

Mane was withdrawn 25 minutes into Sunday’s goalless Premier League draw at Watford and the visitors struggled to create chances in his absence.

Following a forgettable encounter, Koeman offered positive news on the fitness of the 23-year-old, who has been a reported target for Manchester United.

“With Mane we have to wait until tomorrow,” said Koeman.

“He had a reaction to a kick on his hip, it doesn’t look too bad but we have to wait. I didn’t see exactly what happened, he was not good enough to continue.

“I hope we will have everyone available [for the play-off second leg at Midtjylland] and also Saido.”

Having shipped five goals against Newcastle United and Southampton, Koeman was also delighted to see his side register a first clean sheet of the league campaign.

“After the five goals you receive, in my opinion that is something to change, to have a better defensive organisation,” he added.

“We have had a lot of changes to make from the start of the season defensively and that [clean sheet] was very positive.

“Watford didn’t create a lot, maybe both defending organisations were too strong for the attackers. That’s positive, that’s a starting point because winning games is started by a good defence.

“Then you hope when you create opportunities that you have the individual quality to score the important goal.

“We had chances, more in the second half than the first, but it’s a starting point.”

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