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Ronald Koeman laughs off Mauricio Pochettino suggestion Saints are in title race

Published 01/04/2016

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman does not believe his side are in the title race but he is still confident of securing European football for next season
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman does not believe his side are in the title race but he is still confident of securing European football for next season

Ronald Koeman has laughed off Mauricio Pochettino's comments that Southampton are still in the Barclays Premier League title race.

The former Saints boss, who is now in charge of Tottenham, told reporters that seven teams are still in with a chance at winning the league.

But Koeman insists Southampton are only focused on securing European football for next season.

He said: "I do not agree with Mauricio.

"It is nice to hear that Southampton is one of the seven teams that are still fighting but I do not see it like that.

"In my opinion it is between Tottenham and Leicester."

He added: "Everything is possible, it is all about us and if we keep the level and the spirit, we know we are fighting for European football, fifth and sixth position on the table not the first four teams.

"If we want to play in Europe then we need more points than six(th) and it starts this Sunday.

"Everybody is playing for something and that is nice for the Premier League. There is pressure everywhere."

Southampton face league leaders Leicester on Sunday after an international break which saw the majority of Koeman's players go abroad.

The Saints manager believes the club are still learning how to cope with the number of players they have representing their country.

Koeman said: "We had 17 players away, some players played a lot, some players did not play a lot.

"We play on Sunday, so I think that is good that we have one extra day for people who played a lot or travelled a lot.

"It is good to have the international players because it is good to develop themselves and to prepare for the European (Championships)."

"We like to control everything, that the players are coming back as fast as possible from the international break," he added.

"Some players didn't play on Monday or Tuesday and some players 90 minutes in both games, but I cannot do anything.

"We hope everybody will be fit and it is a good experience for the players.

"It is the second season that we have that number of players and it is a learning curve for the players as well. They learn from it and I do not see it as a big problem."

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