Ronald Koeman: Everyone at Southampton was afraid last summer

St Marys Southampton

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman admits that there was fear around St. Mary's when he took charge.

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has admitted to BT Sport that everyone at the club was afraid when he took over last summer.

Southampton lost the core of their squad at the end of last season and Koeman confesses that there was an air of anxiety around St. Mary's after he was appointed.

However, after some excellent additions, spirits were raised and Koeman says that his team have shown their mental strength to have such a good season, with the club now challenging for a European place. 

"Everybody was afraid because we had to make a lot of changes in the team," Koeman admitted. "But, I think, the quality of the players we brought in were good. I think the rest of the players had a really good steel and ambition to have a good season and now we are fighting for a high position in the table."

Southampton's transfer market strategy has become the envy of every side in England after they were so successful at replacing key players last summer, and there has even been talk of Koeman winning the Premier League Manager of the Season award for his efforts with the South Coast club.

Many felt that the Saints would be fighting to retain their top-flight status this season, but they have actually mounted a sustained European push. 

Southampton have been positioned near the top-four for most of the campaign and, although their Champions League dreams seem to have ended, they still have a strong chance of making it into a Europa League spot.

To do so they will need to have a good end to the season, but after the squad have shown such determination to put themselves in this position, it would be a shock if they let up in their final few fixtures. 

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch