Belfast Telegraph

Ronald Koeman has no regrets about allowing Jack Cork to leave Southampton

Jack Cork's fine form could see the Swansea midfielder receive a maiden England call-up next week, but Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has no regrets about letting him go earlier this year.

A graduate of Chelsea's academy, the 26-year-old ended a string of loans by making a permanent move away from Stamford Bridge in 2011.

Cork went on to play a key role in Southampton's promotion that season and helped the club establish themselves as a Premier League force, before deciding to move on to pastures new in January.

Frustrated at a lack of regular first-team football and with his contract running down, the midfielder plumped for a move to the Liberty Stadium on a three-and-a-half year deal.

It has proved a shrewd move and Roy Hodgson has been so impressed that Cork could now be handed his first Three Lions call-up, not that Saints boss Koeman regrets allowing him to leave.

"No, I think Jack is doing well," he said. "He looks that he is winning the competition with the rest of the midfield players in Swansea.

"We know his quality, he's an experienced player, a very good professional, but the time he choose to leave the club he wasn't first choice on the midfield.

"We have a lot of good midfield players, we spoke about it and finally he took the decision to leave the club. He's doing well and that's very positive for him."

Cork returns to St Mary's after being rested against Hull in midweek, when the 2013 Capital One Cup winners crashed out at the third-round stage.

Saints, by contrast, won 6-0 on their trip to Championship opposition, but now need to replicate the form shown against MK Dons in the league.

Koeman's men have secured just one Premier League victory this season and fizzled out after a fine start against Manchester United last weekend, ending up 3-2 losers.

"That's true, 30 or 35 minutes is not enough to win, not against Man United, not against Swansea," the Dutchman said.

"You need more time in the game on your level and you can't do the mistake we did because you can't win.

"Look back to the first half against Man United and Wednesday, we are in a good way now to show and to win the game we need to win to move up the table."


From Belfast Telegraph