Dutch legend praises Koeman for improving Southampton in one key area

Ronald Koeman

Willem van Hanegem says Ronald Koeman has brought determination to Southampton.

After losing manager Mauricio Pochettino and star players Calum Chambers, Dejan Lovren, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert, many expected Southampton to struggle against relegation.

However, those doubters have been proven very, very wrong so far. Southampton's 1-0 win at Hull City on Saturday means they have now collected 22 points from the opening 10 games of the season, winning seven, drawing one and losing just twice.

The additions of player such as Fraser Forster, Toby Alderweireld, Ryan Bertrand, Dusan Tadic, Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle have certainly helped, but Koeman deserves all the plaudits for moulding a defence which has conceded just five times this season - by far the best in the Premier League.

The former Dutch international, who earned 78 caps for his country as a player, was recently linked with the Netherlands job as Guus Hiddink struggles to emulate Louis van Gaal, but having only just left Feyenoord for Southampton, he's not going to be on the move again any time soon.

With the plaudits flying in for Koeman and the Saints, Dutch football legend Willem van Hanegem says that his side have been so good because he's brought more fight to the club.

"You notice the play of Southampton that they cherish the points more than the game. There is a fight to keep their totally unexpected status fixed. For now, the Koemans have this well under control. Especially Ronald as he is strong under these circumstances. He anticipates a fight if asked. That's more to him than encouraging a good game," he said.

It's unlikely that Southampton will be able to mount a title challenge this season, but their amazing start means that the club can certainly be looking to push for a top six finish - and after a difficult summer, Koeman deserves all the credit for a remarkable job so far.

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