Saints boss happy with fixture glut

Southampton head up to Hull City for a Premier League clash on Saturday with manager Ronald Koeman embracing rather than bemoaning his high-flying side`s busy schedule.

Reuters| Last Updated: Oct 31, 2014, 00:06 AM IST
Saints boss happy with fixture glut

London: Southampton head up to Hull City for a Premier League clash on Saturday with manager Ronald Koeman embracing rather than bemoaning his high-flying side`s busy schedule.

The Saints are on some streak having won nine of their last 10 league and cup matches, and followed up last Saturday`s 1-0 win over Stoke City with a 3-2 victory over the same team in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.

Unlike many managers who are quick to complain about too many matches, Koeman said the quickfire fixtures were of benefit to his team. "It`s good. If you are really a football player you like to play every three days," he told reporters on Thursday. "And we don`t have European football.

"It`s OK because we need it to develop ourselves and that`s the best way to be successful, to play and to win."

Saints are now just two matches from Wembley, compounding Koeman`s phenomenal start at St Mary`s and received the kindest draw they might have wished for in the quarter-finals.

"Another away game, the fourth one, but with all respect it isn`t the worst away game that we could have had," he said of the trip to third-tier Sheffield United.

"OK but it`s cup football, it`s difficult but we look forward. We are close to winning silverware because we are in the quarter-finals now."

Southampton`s early victories are a result of their outgoing style, Koeman said. "The target was to play attractive football and attacking football to entertain people.

"The players are enjoying football and you enjoy it more if results are good. The start to our season has given everyone the best spirit and that`s our great strength."

Koeman said he expected Hull to play a more aggressive style than in their last two league games -- creditable draws at Arsenal and Liverpool.

"They had two good results, but maybe they need now to play at home and play maybe more attacking than the last two games, maybe that makes the game a little more open," said the Dutchman.

Southampton, with 19 points, trail leaders Chelsea by four. Hull sit 10th with 11 points from their nine matches.