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Ronald Koeman wants Southampton to keep it nice and steady at back after slow Premier League start

By Staff Reporter

Published 20/08/2015

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman
Southampton boss Ronald Koeman

Ronald Koeman believes wholesale changes to his defensive unit are to blame for his Southampton side's slow start to the season.

Despite progressing into the play-off round of the Europa League, Saints drew at Newcastle on the opening day of the Premier League campaign before losing 3-0 at home to Everton on Saturday.

Southampton welcome FC Midtjylland to St Mary's tonight (8pm) looking to take one step towards the Europa League group stages - but manager Koeman is still striving for defensive cohesion.

"I knew already maybe there was a problem because, if you talk about the defensive strengths of the Southampton team we had last season and a big part of keeping cleans, you are taking about certain positions - goalkeeper, four defenders and two controlling midfield players.

"If you're missing five of the seven, that is one of the reasons we have already got five goals against us in two Premier League games. In Europe we showed our strengths in offence against Vitesse (in the last round) but this game will be more difficult.

"I see this as one of two games against Midtjylland to reach European football. That is the main reason I don't pick the team with Sunday's game in mind."

Belfast Telegraph

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