With Ronald Koeman enjoying a fine debut season in the Premier League at Southampton, executive director Les Reed says the club’s stability has allowed the Dutchman to prosper.
The club underwent a mass pre-season overhaul, with former boss Mauricio Pochettino departing for Tottenham and key players Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw, Calum Chambers and Dejan Lovren all moving on.
Reed was charged with the task of helping to appoint a new manager, as well as overseeing the player recruitment as the club looked to replace the outgoing squad members.
Many tipped the south-coast outfit to struggle this season, but with two games remaining they sit seventh, well in the hunt for UEFA Europa League qualification.
And Reed believes Southampton’s solid infrastructure has given Koeman a sound base from which to garner positive results on the field.
“How did Southampton achieve that? Was it the magic of Ronald Koeman? Or did they have a foundation in place which meant we could deal with a crisis? It’s the latter,” Reed told Perform at the Sporting Directors’ Summit at the Etihad Stadium.
“In that respect I’m not surprised we’ve done well because we believed at the time we would get through that crisis and strengthen the team and hit the ground running.
“You’ve got to have a thick skin.
“I get people stopping me for photos now and they were possibly shouting at me from the stands in the summer saying ‘sort it out Reed, you don’t know what you’re doing’.
“You’re taking all that from the manager. The manager’s the hero now, he’s god, he’ll never get the blame for anything.
“I’m the one who’s going to get the blame and he’s going to get the credit. You’ve got to accept that, you’ve got to be thick skinned.”
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