Ronald Koeman says Saints will “fight” for the Capital One Cup after crushing MK Dons 6-0 to set up a fifth-round tie with Aston Villa.
“It was a tremendous learning curve for me and my players in offensive and defensive play that we will take forward into our campaign”.
“Of course, normally, it is a possibility to take one of the strikers from the under-21s, but they played on Monday for 90 minutes”.
“I don’t think Houdini could have got us a result tonight – you have to remain positive, my response is how I have told them to feel”.
It was Koeman’s first season in England and, with hindsight, the Dutchman admits that perhaps his team were not as prepared as they should have been playing against lower-league opposition away from home.
“Like us, Swansea in my opinion is an example how you have to do the football business”, Southampton manager Koeman said.
He added: “Maybe one thing (has changed) because he is a player who likes to take freedom on the pitch”.
Southampton also welcomed back left-back Ryan Bertrand for his first game of the season after undergoing knee surgery during the summer.
Graziano Pelle should be available on Saturday despite missing the MK Dons trip due to a foot injury and Uruguayan midfielder Gaston Ramirez could also feature in the squad having made his first appearance in over a year at Stadium MK.
In a match of few chances, in which Saido Berahino came on as a second-half substitute for the host just 10 days after saying he would never play for the club again, only Jay Rodriguez went close for Southampton with a close-range header.
“I’m not overly concerned, if we had lost to a poor Southampton team that was flat and we got beat by three disgusting goals then yeah!”
‘Sometimes as a manager you have to make hard decisions.
“Ramirez is technically a very good player and if he is physically on a good level why not?”
“Still, he isn’t the first choice on the position in front, but I know his qualities”. Why not? It’s competition.
“It’s all about your performance during the whole week and if you get the opportunity to play show your qualities”.