Stoke have improved technically, says Koeman

By SFC Media Sat 12 Mar Club

Ronald Koeman believes that today’s opponents, Stoke City, possess a greater level of technical ability in their team this season.

The Saints manager has praised the job that his opposite number, Mark Hughes, has done at Britannia Stadium, with the club also pushing for a Europa League spot.

"I think Mark Hughes is doing a great job,” Koeman told Southampton’s official YouTube channel. “They have a good team, a strong team. I think maybe the difference with Stoke now compared to the last two seasons is maybe they have a little bit more individual qualities.

“Maybe physically-wise they lost a little bit, but with [Xherdan] Shaqiri, with [Marko] Arnautović, with [Ibrahim] Afellay in the midfield – they signed [Giannelli] Imbula in the January window – and they are really fighting for a good position in the table, like Southampton.”

Stoke triumphed 1-0 at St Mary’s when the sides met earlier this season, and Koeman explained that his side need to heed the lessons from that day.

"They punished us by very good and fast counter football, and that means by attacking you need to have a good defensive organisation and we have to learn from that and we have to improve on that and of course we need really good football to beat them,” he said.

Saints receive Equality Standard award

Saints receive Equality Standard award

Southampton awarded the Premier League Preliminary Level Equality Standard.

Wed 12 Oct
On This Day: Pahars' wonder goal Good luck, Francis Benali!
Yoshida: Squad is important
Saints vs Sunderland

Yoshida: Squad is important

Maya Yoshida hailed the importance of the squad after coming through the full 90 minutes of the win over Sunderland.

52 mins ago
Saints Foundation’s Big Bike Challenge is back for 2017! Video: Olomola's debut delight