Koeman identifies the most important attribute Saints have

Ronald Koeman has commended the spirit of the players in his Southampton squad.

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman insists that the spirit that his side has is more important than anything else he can offer to them.

Although the Dutchman has earned a number of plaudits for his forward-thinking approach and tactical nous, he was determined not to steal the acclaim from his players in the press.

Indeed, he says that the squad's natural passion to be successful is the major reason they have been in such good form this season. 

“In the beginning it was difficult with all the changes but the most important is to have a good spirit in the team," he told the club's official site

“You can talk about practical things, about the way of playing, but the most important is the squad and they showed from the beginning a great ambition to be successful.”

Southampton's innate desire has been obvious throughout the campaign, as they have played with such intensity and heart.

However, despite Koeman's modesty, it would be wrong not to attribute a lot of the reasons for their success down to him.

The Dutchman has managed to create a style which leaves the Saints looking defensively organised and threatening offensively at the same time.

It is a tactical plan which is getting the very best out of his players and they look one of the strongest squads in England at the moment. 

Southampton are currently in second place in the Premier League and face Aston Villa on Monday night, looking to extend their advantage over Manchester City. 

The real test for the side will come after that game, though, when they take on City, Arsenal and Manchester United.

It is a very tough run of form, but Koeman will be hoping that their strong spirit shines through - even against some of the division's highest profile teams. 

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