Date: 13th January 2016 at 12:31pm
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Manager Ronald Koeman has said that tonight’s match against Watford at St Mary’s Stadium is a ‘big’ game for Southampton owing to recent results.

Without a win in three once more, and only four points returned from the last eight including exits in the Capital One Cup and FA Cup, Koeman knows it’s vitally important we get back to winning ways and perform as we did in the Boxing Day clash against Arsenal.

Speaking to saintsfc in his pre game press conference, Koeman was focused on the importance of the match tonight.

‘That was difficult, because it was a big disappointment (Palace). We knew it was a big week coming up before that game, but, ok, we have to take it, we have to learn from it and we have to realise now that tomorrow is a big one, because we need a win for everybody, for the fans, for the players, for everybody. It’s a difficult situation, but I still believe in the team and the qualities of the team that we can have a good response and a good reaction and that will be important to win the game.’

For belief and confidence, Koeman went on to say it was important we drew a line under the losses, but equally a win would change the perception completely moving forward.

‘If you look to the situation of the team, of the club at the moment, we are in the middle. The difference between us at the moment and the teams above us, if you talk about European football, if you talk about our aspirations, our ambition, it’s seven points, and if you go back and down it`s also seven points and then you fight about relegation and that’s a lot where we play for next week.’

With Graziano Pelle coming back into contention for the match following his four game spell out with a knee injury, Koeman also spoke of him and said that he looked very fresh in training again so hopefully that would be a huge boost for us.

‘He was struggling a few weeks already with his knee problem. Ok, we decide to take him out, to give him the time to recover and to come back as strong as possible and now he`s back. Maybe he did too much sessions on 60 or 70 per cent and that`s sometimes difficult because then I believe you start to play the weekend also at 60 or 70 per cent. You are used to the pain. That was the big decision what we had to make, to put him out to give him the time to recover and then he is back at 100 per cent, and what he needs to play on his level.’

Koeman did say he was happy with the performances of Shane Long in his absence though and to really get our season back on track, we will need everyone.

‘It`s a perfect time to have everybody back. Normally we played always with Graziano in front and we know his qualities, the team knows his qualities. He is strong, he is keeping the ball in front, and Shane in my opinion did it very well. Maybe he missed two or three big chances one-against-one with the goalkeepers, but he created a lot, he was doing his movements, but he`s a different type of attacker than Graziano is. That needs time. It`s good to have everybody and all the options what you need.’

Cuco Martina as we know was also in front of the press ahead of the game, and in additional quotes attributed to him, he explained.

‘I need to help the team and also the team helps me. We need to help each other and if we keep fighting like this and helping each other, if I can do more attacking I think maybe I can score more goals, but my first thing is to defend good and if everything goes well then you can go attacking.’

With his goal against Arsenal still making headlines, he admits that was a major confidence boost for him.

‘The first ten minutes was a little bit nervous, because it was my first game starting. After the ten minutes everything starts going good and I score a great goal and that gave me more confidence. I get a chance from the coach and I’m very happy with this chance and I proved to myself that I can play and finally I score a great goal and I’m very happy, and you see if we start to score goals the confidence will be growing and then we start to win games.’

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