Southampton boss Ronald Koeman hoping for European boost

The Dutchman is hoping the added European fixtures will drain their opponents.

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman is hoping the rigours of European football will aid his side, according to Sky Sports.

The Dutchman believes that a heavier workload as a result of upcoming European fixtures will see his side gain an edge over their opponents in the second half of the season.

The Saints are currently fourth in the Premier League table and just a point behind Manchester United, who also don’t have Europe to contend with, as they seek their highest finish in the league ever and a potential place at Europe’s top table.

Their main rivals, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool all have fixtures in both the Champions League and Europe to contend with, while Koeman’s side have only the league to focus upon. Now, he has said he is hoping it will give his team that added edge during the run-in.

"I think that's an advantage for us,” Koeman said when asked if the others would fade.

"We don't play in the cup, we don't play European football and they have to. That's difficult because then you will get more injuries, maybe some players are not feeling well, a little bit tired after playing a lot and that can be an advantage for us, to keep strong.”

The Dutch manager, who succeeded Mauricio Pochettino in the summer, also feels that Southampton fans putting less pressure on his side is also a bonus.

The club’s fanbase weren’t expecting much after a summer which saw several of their star names leave, but Koeman’s side have astounded critics to sit at the top end of the table, and the manager is hoping to reward them with European football come the end.

“We like to have European football,” he added.

“The chairman doesn't say to me 'If we don't reach European football, you did a bad job.’ But they (Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham) are used to playing for and winning titles and to play for European football with their positions in the table and we don't have that experience.”

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