Ronald Koeman has issued a public backing of his struggling striker Shane Long.
Southampton's summer business has been the source of much praise, but Long's transfer is the only one which hasn't worked out just yet.
The front-man came in from Hull City, but he has failed to hit the back of the net on the South-Coast so far and question marks have been raised about whether the £12 million could have been better spent.
However, Koeman feels that things will come good for the Republic of Ireland international in time and says that Long is confident in his own ability to perform.
Koeman: “We believe in the qualities of Shane Long. I spoke to him this morning and he’s confident in himself.” #saintsfc— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) October 16, 2014
One striker who has had no such problems since arriving at St. Mary's is Graziano Pelle and Koeman believes that the Italian has already answered his doubters.
The 29-year-old has been one of the major reasons behind Southampton's early season success and was rewarded with his first start for his country in midweek.
During the match, he scored Italy's only goal in a 1-0 win over Malta capping off a dream few months and his club boss says he was happy to see the front-man continue to score.
Koeman on Pellè: “It is nice for him to score and it was the winning goal. We hope he will continue with his performances.” #saintsfc— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) October 16, 2014
Koeman on Pellè: “The question wasn’t about his qualities. It was can he do the same as he did in Holland. He’s doing fantastic.” #saintsfc— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) October 16, 2014
Koeman's success at Southampton has not gone unnoticed and he is already being linked with a move to take over the Holland national team job.
There has been much clamour for Koeman to be appointed by his country, but he says that he would not be interested in taking the job even if he was offered it.
Koeman: “I am now the manager of Southampton. There’s no chance to move out of this club.” #saintsfc— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) October 16, 2014