English Premiership

Koeman returns to boost Saints

2015-08-14 09:21
Ronald Koeman (Getty Images)

Southampton - Ronald Koeman returns to boost Southampton as the Dutchman makes a belated start to the Premier League season when his side host Everton on Saturday.

Koeman was absent when Saints started their league campaign with a 2-2 draw at Newcastle last Sunday after undergoing Achilles tendon surgery but the 52-year-old returned to the club this week and will be in the dug-out at St Mary's.

The meeting with Roberto Martinez's team marks Southampton's first home league game since they signed off in May with a 6-1 victory over Aston Villa, a game marked by Sadio Mane's 176-second hat-trick, the Premier League's fastest ever.

Mane is anxious to carry on where he left off and maintain the progress he showed in scoring 10 league goals in his first season following his move from Salzburg.

The Senegal forward failed to get on the scoresheet last weekend, but fellow forwards Graziano Pelle and Shane Long were on target and, with Jay Rodriguez back following a long-term knee injury, Koeman has an enviable range of forward options.

"It was nice to end the season like that at St Mary's," Mane said.

"I will try and score more than last season.

"In football, for the striker it is important for them to score for the team. We start the season and I didn't score but the team drew, which is more important.

"Especially for Graziano, he is in good form at the moment and we try to help him with everything. We give him the ball so he will score for us. The team is more important than me."

Koeman strengthened his squad this week with the capture of Chelsea midfielder Oriel Romeu.

But Saints will face Everton without two other new signings, midfielder Jordy Clasie (ankle) and centre-back Steven Caulker, while goalkeeper Fraser Forster and defender Florin Gardos are long-term knee victims.

Southampton host Everton on Saturday at the St. Mary's Stadium.

Kick-off is set for 13:45. 


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