Koeman convinced Southampton can make top four

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman insisted that his side is able to finish in the top four this season after they triumphed 2-1 at Newcastle United on Saturday, Sky Sports has reported.

The game got off to a slow start, but the deadlock was broken on 14 minutes when recent loan signing Eljero Elia gave the Saints the lead, hitting a first-time shot underneath goalkeeper Tim Krul after receiving a pass from James Ward-Prowse.

Newcastle found an equaliser in bizarre circumstances shortly before the half-hour mark as a sliding clearance from Florin Gardos rebounded in off Yoan Gouffran, but it was Southampton who claimed the winner in a tight second half as Elia’s powerful strike was deflected in off a post.

That win was Southampton’s third in a week away from home, and ensured they remain in third place in the Premier League and on course to qualify for next season’s Champions League, and although many still doubt their capability of remaining there, Koeman is confident his squad has enough to maintain its consistency.

“I think we can keep this position,” he said. “We have a lot of confidence – that’s the key for the results in the last few weeks. I think the spirit in the team is unbelievable. Even after a difficult start where we were quiet, we had the confidence to score. At the moment, we’re not needing a lot of chances to score goals and that makes a difference.”

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