Robbie Savage: What makes Koeman different

The BBC pundit has been discussing the Southampton coach.

Robbie Savage says Southampton's ability to last the distance in terms of their Premier League position is what separates manager Ronald Koeman from other top-flight bosses, according to the pundit's regular BBC Football column.

Indeed, Savage has been impressed by the South Coast side's longevity compared to many other teams who failed to build on promising starts to their league campaigns.

Southampton are still in a high league position and were in contention for a Champions League place with 10 games to go, Savage says.

And it is that ability to compete that makes Koeman different, he argues.

Savage told BBC Sport: "Plenty of teams have started the season surprisingly well before now but very few of them are still around the following spring.

"That is what made Koeman different. His team stayed there and were in contention to qualify for the Champions League with 10 games to go."

Intriguingly, Savage only ranked the Southampton boss as the Premier League's third-best manager this season, placing both Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson and Chelsea's Jose Mourinho above the Dutchman.

Next season will be a big test for Koeman, of course, as some of the best coaches in the business have struggled to build on their initial success at clubs - especially in the Premier League.

Another wise summer of recruitment will no doubt aid the Southampton boss in his endeavours, while the Saints *may* also have to take the added demand of the Europa League into consideration next term.

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