Ronald Koeman believes that a pattern for his favoured team could form in Saints’ next three pre-season matches as the 2014/15 season approaches.
The gaffer’s view on Southampton’s 1-0 win over Swindon Town at the County Ground on Monday night was that it was a solid performance that lacked a cutting edge.
As the younger group within the squad continues to force their way into Koeman’s thinking, the Dutchman – who hailed fans for their support on the evening – shared his delight at how his side are progressing.
“The result was okay,” the manager assessed when speaking to the club’s official YouTube channel. “I think we deserved one or two more goals in this match, but it was okay. There was good spirit in the team. I think the start was very good.
“Maybe in front of goal we’re not as sharp as normal but I’m happy about the performance.
“I saw good movements in the wing-play and in the positioning of the midfield. They pressed a little more and we lost that positioning in midfield but it’s normal that that can happen.
“It was a step further than the last two friendlies, but it’s a good way to reach 100 percent physically and mentally.
“We don’t have a lot more time or friendly matches, but little-by-little we’ll look for the best squad and team. You could see that [against Swindon] and you’ll see that for the next three friendly matches.
“It’s a good chance for the youngsters. I’m happy with their performances – they’ve shown their qualities.
“It was a great feeling to have the crowd, the fans in Swindon. It means a lot, it says a lot. We are happy about that.”
Saints were without Steven Davis and summer recruit Dušan Tadić for the match with the Robins while Sam McQueen was brought off through injury at half-time.
Koeman has no fears though as he expects fairly immediate returns from the trio.
“It was not a problem [for McQueen] to continue,” the 51-year-old revealed. “Maybe for one day he’ll be out of training but no more – it’s okay.
“Steven Davis had a little injury and we didn’t take the risk. He will play on Friday. Dušan Tadić is still in Holland waiting for his work permit. We hope he will be back tomorrow.”