RONALD Koeman has claimed Southampton “didn’t play really well” in their 8-0 thrashing of Sunderland earlier this season – and that they received ‘unbelievable help’ from the Black Cats players.
Sunderland were embarrassed on the South Coast earlier this season, and face the Saints again on Saturday in a match which could be crucial to their hopes of staying in the Premier League.
Southampton will be without key duo Morgan Schneiderlin and Dusan Tadic, but in his pre-match press conference, Koeman was asked about their 8-0 win over Sunderland at St Mary’s in October.
He said: “We had unbelievable help from the players of Sunderland. It was so strange. We didn’t play really well.
“We scored great goals, but the game of this Saturday will be totally different.
“They have two home games and they need two wins. That means a lot of pressure and we have to prepare for that.”
Saturday’s fixture will see two of the Premier League’s Dutch managers go head to head, with Koeman up against Sunderland’s Dick Advocaat.
Koeman added: “He’s a man with a lot of experience in difficult circumstances.
“After Saturday, I wish him the best. He will give them the fighting spirit to stay in the Premier League.”