Ronald Koeman expects the Southampton fans to make their feelings known when Adam Lallana returns…
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman expects a mixed reception for former Saints star Adam Lallana, who is set to return to the South Coast for the first time on Sunday since his summer move to Liverpool.
The 26-year-old’s performances have been steadily improving after an injury-plagued first-part of the season at Anfield. The £25m man has made 28 appearances thus far, scoring five goals.
Koeman, who only arrived at Southampton in the summer – replacing Mauricio Pochettino – admitted that he bares no personal grudge against Lallana over the manner of his exit, but expects a red hot reception from the St. Mary’s faithful.
He told the Daily Mirror: “Lallana is a very good player. He is doing well at Liverpool. He chose to change clubs after being given a good opportunity.
“We know our position as a club. If clubs like Liverpool come in it is always difficult to keep that kind of player.
“They want to play in the Champions League, it has always happened. It is up to us to bring in new players and continue what we want to do.
“On Sunday it is Southampton against Liverpool, not Southampton against players who left last season.”
Dejan Lovren and Rickie Lambert also moved from Southampton to Liverpool last year, but it’s Lallana who has certainly had the biggest impact on his new club.
The trio will be hoping to inspire the Reds’ push towards the Champions League places in the coming weeks. A nine match unbeaten run has taken us to within four points of the top four, and a win over the Saints would go a long way to helping us secure a place in Europe’s premier competition.
Koeman added: “I am surprised Liverpool have four points less than we have and to get closer to us they have to win.”