Keoman taking nothing for granted
Ronald Koeman is preparing for Saturday's meeting with West Brom with the same respect he had for Liverpool last weekend - insisting he has no 'big club' hang-ups.
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The Dutchman lost his first competitive match in charge of Saints when they slipped to a narrow 2-1 defeat at Anfield on Sunday and will be hoping to pick up a win in his maiden home game against the Baggies.
Between now and a November 30 meeting with reigning Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City, only a visit to face Tottenham and former boss Mauricio Pochettino at White Hart Lane sees Southampton face a team who finished above them last season.
Games against newly-promoted Leicester and QPR also fall during that period, with West Brom the start of a healthy-looking run of fixtures for Koeman's side - but the former Feyenoord coach refuses to take anything for granted.
"I think it is not good to speak about the big clubs," he said.
"If you look back to the results in the first matches, all of them are very close. Arsenal only won in the last minute (against Crystal Palace).
"What is a big team? The competition is very competitive and you have to play good and you have to be good to win against everybody.
"Sometimes the name of the club means a lot but, between the lines, it can be difficult against everybody and you have to prepare yourself to play well against everybody."
Many have tipped Southampton to struggle to replicate last season's best-ever eighth place finish given the sales of several key players.
Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren all moved to Liverpool whilst Luke Shaw signed for Manchester United and Arsenal came in for Calum Chambers.
But Koeman has re-invested much of that money and his new-look side were unfortunate to lose at Liverpool, with Daniel Sturridge scoring a 79th-minute winner for the hosts.
Having come close to taking a point from last season's runners-up, Koeman believes his players will be able to draw on that experience.
"It was frustrating," he said about the defeat.
"I thought we played at a good level with an amazing second half and the result was not what we deserved.
"It was good for the confidence because maybe everyone was afraid about how we would start the season. We showed our qualities and showed we are a team who can be very competitive against everybody.
"We know this Saturday it will be different, maybe more difficult because everyone expects the same level at home and we have to dominate more than we did against Liverpool. The belief is in the team and in the players and everyone is ready for Saturday."