Ronald Koeman: Pleasure to play Man City, says Southampton boss

Saints needed more patience - Koeman

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman says it will be "a pleasure" to play Manchester City next weekend but his side will need to improve if they are to stay second in the Premier League.

Southampton were subdued at Aston Villa on Monday until Nathaniel Clyne's low drive earned a 1-1 draw.

Koeman said: "It is a pleasure to play a team like City and show our quality.

"But to have a chance we need more quality in front of goal than we showed."

Clyne's goal reduced the gap to leaders Chelsea to six points, but victory for City at St Mary's on Sunday afternoon would see Manuel Pellegrini's team go above Saints and into second place.

Koeman conceded that his side were below their best at Villa Park, struggling to break down the packed Villa defence after Gabriel Agbonlahor had rounded a hesitant Fraser Forster to score.

"It was difficult, for after we went 1-0 down they had good organisation and defended well with everybody," said the Dutchman. "There was not a lot of space to create opportunities.

"We maybe missed some sharpness in the box and not every cross was of good quality, but we showed good quality and had to be patient.

"Normally we don't make the kind of mistake that led to the Villa goal, but we are human people and can make that kind of mistake. After that we were in too much of hurry."

Unbeaten Chelsea could end next weekend eight points clear at the top of the table and Koeman cannot see any weaknesses in Jose Mourinho's side.

He said: "They have quality, in defending and attacking.

"It's up to the rest of us, we will try to keep our position and way of playing.

"After 38 games I don't believe that we will still be second. But maybe third."

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