English Premiership

Saints get Koeman praise

2015-11-02 10:05
Ronald Koeman (Getty Images)

London - Southampton manager Ronald Koeman described his side's first-half display in the 2-0 derby victory over Bournemouth on Sunday as "the best 45 minutes" since he was appointed last year.

Graziano Pelle took his Premier League goal tally for the season to six after Steven Davis had given the Saints the lead, both strikes coming before the interval.

"That was the best 45 minutes, maybe the best in more than one year," Koeman told reporters.

"It was a high tempo. We had good ball possession and if you watch the two goals it is all about a high quality of football.

"I am very pleased about that but we know we still have to learn from mistakes and we know that you get a reaction from the opponent after halftime," the Dutchman added.

Koeman was full of praise for his attacking players, describing Pelle as "one of the best in the league".

He was equally happy with the way his side defended, especially having thrown away a two-goal lead against Leicester City recently.

"We had a good example against Leicester and we learned from that game," he said. "(Bournemouth) didn't create.

"Maybe one chance and a good save by Marteen Stekelenburg. Of course we like to continue playing and be dangerous like the first half but to play 95 minutes at the level we showed in the first half, in my opinion that is impossible."

Southampton have risen steadily to seventh in the table after a sluggish start to the campaign while Bournemouth have slipped ominously towards the bottom three since a bright opening few weeks in their inaugural top-flight sesson.

One point from their last five matches has left Eddie Howe's team fourth from bottom although he was encouraged by Bournemouth's second-half response on Sunday.

"I thought the second-half was everything we wanted the first to be," Howe said.

"We were off the pace in the first-half and Southampton played well.

"It was a reverse in the second and the only thing missing were goals."

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