Koeman rejects tiredness theory
Southampton have started their Premier League campaign slowly but manager Ronald Koeman is refusing to blame it on their European involvement.
Having taken one point from their opening two league games, Saints travel to face Watford on Sunday looking for their first victory of the domestic campaign.
Koeman's side were also held to a 1-1 draw in the opening leg of their Europa League play-off against Danish champions FC Midtjylland on Thursday night but, at such an early stage of the season, Koeman feels the extra fixtures are not a burden on his players.
"I hope it will be a problem later on in the season but there's no tiredness at the moment, because we're starting the season," he said.
"We don't have long to prepare for the next game but at the start of the season that's not a problem. Maybe it's good to play so many games because we need to develop and improve and cut out mistakes. The second half (against Midtjylland) was good but we are learning."
Southampton kicked off their Premier League season with a draw at Newcastle before being outplayed in a 3-0 loss to Everton at St Mary's last week.
A fixture against newly-promoted Watford may look like a good chance to pick up a maiden league win of the season but, having drawn with both the Toffees and West Brom, Quique Flores' side have suggested they can quickly adapt to life in the top-flight.
"It's always nice to play a promoted team and they have had two good results, the start of the season is very positive for them," Koeman added.
"It takes time to integrate into the Premier League, that was the case for me last year, finding how difficult and tough it is, but the manager has always had good organisation in his teams so it will be a tough one."
Jay Rodriguez will be hoping to score his first league goal in 17 months after grabbing the equaliser against Midtjylland, while both Sadio Mane and Victor Wanyama - reported transfer targets for Manchester United and Tottenham respectively - are likely to keep their places in Koeman's side as Saints insist neither will be sold.