Southampton boss Ronald Koeman declared himself pleased with his side’s 4-2 win at Aston Villa, but admits they made hard work of it.
A Dusan Tadic brace was sandwiched between goals from Shane Long and Sadio Mane to keep the Saints’ hopes of European qualification alive in what was Aston Villa’s first match since their relegation was officially confirmed.
However, despite the positive result, Koeman believes that the manner of it could – and should – have been more convincing.
“Scoring four goals away from home is good but we conceded two and that is not like Southampton,” he told BBC Sport.
“We gave Villa the belief that they could get a better result. In the end, we were by far the better team. It was a good result finally, and we’re on to the next game.
“Scoring goals was not a problem today, but in general we have been missing too many opportunities away from home. That is why we are a little way behind the fifth and sixth positions in the table.
“It was difficult because it was a strange atmosphere – but even more so for the home team. It’s a shame that Aston Villa have been relegated because it is a great club and stadium. I hope they are back before too long.”
The result leaves Southampton eighth, two points behind sixth placed West Ham but having played a game more.