Football

Ronald Koeman unhappy with first-half Southampton showing

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Southampton manager Ronald Koeman was satisfied to have got the victory over Championship side Millwall in the Capital One Cup, but he was less than happy with his side's first-half performance.

The Dutchman, who sent out an almost full-strength starting XI, was unhappy that the Saints did not show enough commitment in the first-half of the match, something that nearly cost them a goal.

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Having made a change to the system in the second half, Koeman was much more pleased with the second half showing, where his side scored twice to win the tie 2-0.

First half showing

With the game goalless at the interval, it could have been a different story had Millwall taken advantage of their chances, after a long ball forward was not dealt with and Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster had to make a smart save to keep it 0-0.

The Saints boss confirmed after the game that he was not happy with the commitment and energy shown by his side in the opening 45 minutes, and that it had to change in the second half or they would have been beaten by the side who wanted it more.

“The first half was very bad. It looked like the team was playing at 70% and you know that in cup football you have to be at 100% – if not, you get into trouble. 

“We were in trouble in the first half, and maybe the best example of that was the chance they created from the long ball by the goalkeeper to put the striker one-against-one with Forster. That’s impermissable at this level." he told the club's official website.

Relieved for Pelle

Koeman, who brought his former-Feyenoord striker Graziano Pelle with him to the South coast outfit this summer, also showed his relief and confidence in the man who netted 55 goals in 66 matches for the Dutch side after his first competitive goal in a Saints shirt came last night.

“That’s a great feeling for a striker,” he said.

“Of course, they are happy if the team is winning but if they don’t score for two or three matches in a row then they get a bit nervous. 

“Maybe this will give him the feeling and the confidence that he is a good striker.”

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