Ronaldo Koeman believes his high-flying Southampton side can make the top four this season.
The Saints have so far defied pre-season expectations as they occupy second place in the Premier League table. Koeman’s side were written off after a less-than-ideal summer, during which they lost a multitude of key players, including captain Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren, Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers.
Nonetheless, after an impressive opening-run - which has seen the club win six of nine domestic matches, while conceding the lowest number of goals in the top flight (five) - the Dutchman has suggested that a top four finish is not out of the Saints' reach.
Koeman suggested their league position, just four points behind leaders Chelsea, did not flatter his side. ‘You can make up your own mind, but up to now maybe we deserve more points,’ he is quoted by The Mail. ‘We lost at Liverpool when we deserved more, and maybe you can say the same when we lost at Tottenham.’
The Dutchman's summer reinforcements have had an absolutely tremendous impact. The duo of Graziano Pelle and Dusan Tadic, both signed from the Netherlands, have been integral to the Saints excellent start.
Pelle already has six goals to his name, while Tadic has weighed in with some fantastic attacking displays - including his cameo versus Sunderland, during which he recorded one goal and four assists.
Meanwhile Saido Maine, Ryan Bertrand and Toby Alderweireld have all impressed.
Koeman continued: ‘When I look at the other teams around the top four, City have a great team, Chelsea are probably the most complete side at the moment, but the rest of them have not shown that they have a better team than us.'
‘Maybe there is an opportunity for us because Arsenal and Liverpool have a tough programme with Champions League football, but they do have 25 or 26 players in their squads who are all internationals.'
‘We don’t have that luxury, maybe that is one difference between us.'
‘It’s too early to say what we would like to win this season. When expectations are high, the best solution is to live day by day. We enjoy being second in the table but it is only a start.’