Date: 21st January 2016 at 10:56am
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With Southampton and manager Ronald Koeman delaying contractual finalities, chairman Ralph Krueger has said there’s ‘no unrest or uneasiness’ over the situation.

He also tried to assure fans that there were no comparisons with the situation we found ourselves in under former manager Mauricio Pochettino.

With Koeman having less than 18 months left on his contract to run, Krueger pointed to transfer talk and Koeman’s own words pointing out that Charlie Austin was the top target the gaffer wanted and we have secured him – and everybody is happy with that.

It’s just simply the case that it’s not the right time yet to hammer down on a new deal.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, our chairman explained.

‘We are in a completely different situation now to two summers ago. We had the whole player, manager and all these things and the club behind the scenes – there were a lot of things to work on. We are now in a much stronger position as a club and we are very comfortable with Ronald at the moment. Our conversations are good, they are mature, and where we are there is one and a half years left. In the end everybody in both directions wants to be in the right place. The regular conversations we have are good and the rest we leave amongst us where we are. There is certainly no unrest or uneasiness on either side at the moment.’

Asked directly where he wanted Koeman to sign up for an extension, Krueger again wanted it to play out naturally rather than talking guarantees.

‘I won`t go into that here. Right now we are really pleased with our present situation and where we are, but those are discussions for the football department and Ronald and Les. I am working on the big picture, but philosophically we have done some really good things here and the rest we will evolve as it needs to evolve.’

Having talked the ‘bigger picture’ Krueger went on to say he meant the overall position of the club, the ambitions and the hopes as obviously recent league form had not been what anybody had hoped for – but thankfully we seemed to be coming out of that dip now.

‘Of course the last little while has been one where we aren`t pleased. We are honest about that because we want to be in the top half of the table, we want to find a way back there and we will try to do everything to do that. It`s clear with the Charlie Austin deal. In the big picture we are really happy.’

Adding about the growth of the club.

‘We did a survey two years ago with our staff and again this year and it was 50 people more in and this year 50 people more again. We have got over 300 full time employees in Southampton Football Club and that`s not for any reason other than it`s necessary. Every single job that has been created was a necessity for us to continue to grow. In the big picture we are really excited and the values run through this club so deep that the three day induction programme we have is working because the new people that come in are every bit as committed as the people that were there from the start.’

He does however say that fans don’t overly care about that side of life, it’s success and entertainment on the pitch that matters, but for him it goes hand in hand as off pitch growth enables further on pitch investment.

‘The fans don`t care about that on a daily basis, the values of the club, they care about our results on the pitch and so they should. That is our single most important thing and above all we are about the results of the first team but beyond that what goes on gives it a solid ground on which to build itself. Whether it`s the academy or the first team it`s solid now. It`s strange that this pain came now at this time when as a club we have gone to another level, but pain is always opportunity. It depends on what you do with it, how you react in those times, how you communicate in those times, and we have so many good things going on right now that won`t necessarily show up in the next week or month or two months or even this season but have picked up a lot of things that will strengthen us for the long term. That is something I can say to the people of Southampton and the fans. The long term vision is on track and we are extremely responsible as a club, we are living within our means and I am proud of what we have right now.’

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