Southampton manager Ronald Koeman warned against expecting too much from his team after their slow start to the season.
The Dutchman’s team have failed to win any of their first three Premier League games and were beaten by Midtjylland in their UEFA Europa League play-off on Thursday.
Expectations are high after Southampton finished seventh in Koeman’s first season in charge, despite losing the likes of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren and Luke Shaw.
The losses of Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool) and Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United) have hurt this close-season, while Sadio Mane and Victor Wanyama are both the subject of transfer interest.
Koeman, whose team host Norwich City on Sunday, said expectations for his team to qualify for Europe once more were perhaps unfair.
“People expect more but we have to be realistic with what happened and what we have lost in the last year,” he said.
“In the first season we changed a lot and after some weeks you improve and develop the players but now we have been playing more.
“We have time but it is not what I like. We have time to improve and have good training sessions and we need that.”
Koeman said he was looking forward to the transfer window closing, with Mane and Wanyama still being linked with moves away.
“We have new players and the start of the season is completely different, the transfer window is a big influence in the focus of the players,” he said.
“I will be happy at 6pm on Tuesday – then we know nothing more can happen.”
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