Date: 2nd January 2016 at 11:20am
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Manager Ronald Koeman has said that Norwich City will be another tough prospect this weekend, but the bottom line is Southampton need the win.

In quotes carried by saintsfc from his pre game press conference, Koeman explained that the only focus we could afford to have was on getting 2016 off to a winning start given recent wobbles in our league form and results.

With Norwich winning two of the last three – including victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford – that will be easier said than done though, and they also haven’t lost at Carrow Road since late October.

‘A difficult one. I was watching the game that they played last, against Aston Villa at home, and they are strong. They have a confidence now that they can beat teams. They won away against Manchester United, and that gives teams like Norwich a big belief and a big confidence to battle to stay in the Premier League. That’s one of the reasons why it’s a difficult game. They are fighting to keep their position in the Premier League. They are strong at home and they’re an aggressive team so it’s a difficult one, but we need to win.’

With Arsenal confidence tempered by West Ham disappointment, Koeman went on to say that it was important that we took the positives from the start to the West Ham game but ensured we played like that for 90 minutes and not just the opening half.

‘I’m disappointed about the final result, but not about the way we played football – and that’s sometimes difficult to explain. We played very good in the first 45 minutes and also in the second half we had some good counter-attacking movements, but the final result was bad. I think it was a very good 45 minutes – we pressed well and were the dominating team with the best chances of the game. It’s important to score the second because, if you score that, it’s all about the belief of the opponent. At one-nil, with one bad moment they can draw the game – and that’s what happened. That’s difficult to take.’

Koeman went on to say.

‘I think the team is playing much better – like against Arsenal, but also against West Ham – than we did before. It’s strange because we don’t have the results that our performances deserved. I think we fought and we did everything to have a better result against West Ham. So we need to be more clinical. That’s one of the reasons why sometimes we have difficulties to kill the game, because we left them alive. We have enough examples when we score the second one that it’s an easy game to finish. Like I said before, with one mistake it’s a totally different game – and that we have to learn. When you get those kind of chances, you have to score.’

In terms of team news, the gaffer confirmed that Graziano Pelle would continue to be out with his knee problem, and Cedric would be missing with his groin injury once more as well.

So the squad is likely to be unchanged from West Ham.

One change though will be midfielder Oriol Romeu who picked up his fifth yellow card of the game so will serve a one match ban.

‘I don’t expect a lot of changes in the squad that we had last time. I don’t think that they (Pellè and Cédric) can play – they’re still out for the weekend. It’s part of football that you have to deal with injuries in your football players.’

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