Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has played down his side’s chances of finishing in the top four of the Premier League this season.
The Saints are currently third in the league table with 16 points from eight matches, just a point behind defending English champions and second-placed Manchester City.
Koeman’s side’s truly brilliant start to the 2014-15 campaign has taken many by surprise, including the Dutchman himself, who told Sky Sports: ‘I didn’t expect such a good start to the season’.
There have been suggestions that Southampton could eventually secure a place in top four and qualify for next season’s Champions League.
However, Koeman is not looking that far ahead and told Sky Sports when asked about taking Southampton to the Champions League: ‘It would be difficult. Of course, we have had a great start to the season but everybody knows that it’s a tough season. We have a good team, but it’s a long season. We take it game by game. I think that’s the best way’.
Koeman has been a key reason behind Southampton’s brilliant run of form in the opening weeks of the season, but the true test will be in maintaining it.
Despite the quality of players that the Saints have, there are other better teams (on paper at least) who are underperforming. One would expect the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United to start picking up points and momentum as the season progresses.
That does not mean that Southampton’s chances of playing Champions League football next season should be written off rightaway, but it will certainly get tougher for the Saints.