Tadic: I’ve learned from last season

Date published: Friday 31st July 2015 10:30

An impressive spell in the Eredivisie with FC Groningen and then FC Twente earned the 26-year-old midfielder a big-money move to St Mary’s last summer.

Tadic was Ronald Koeman’s first signing as Saints manager and quickly justified his £10.9million price tag, scoring one and providing four assists in the remarkable 8-0 mauling of Sunderland.

The Serbia international also scored the decisive goal in Southampton’s first win at Manchester United since 1988, but that strike in January was one of the increasingly fleeting moments of quality in the second half of the season.

A first campaign without a winter break exacerbated matters, but Tadic reckons the “biggest problem” was not listening to his body when an ongoing groin complaint flared up.

“I was really sad because I have that problem a long time, like all the second part of the season,” he said.

“I have a big problem and finally I’m fit again and now I have more experience and I would do some things different.

“I think maybe when I have some pain like last year I should maybe stop for maybe seven or 10 days and then I would feel again better, but I didn’t stop and my problem was bigger and bigger.

“Then for a couple of months I have problem, but, okay, now I feel good and this is most important.”

Tadic’s desire to keep working even led Koeman to intervene earlier this year, when he publicly said the player needed to take some time off if he was to get back to his best.

“We talked about that, but he knows I always like to play and to help my team,” he said.

“Even if I have some pain I play – I’ve been taught like that – but I hope this year nothing’s going to happen. If it happens, I think I would think different.”

Tadic certainly looked closer to his best on Thursday evening, when his penalty helped Saints secure a 3-0 win against Vitesse Arnhem.

Graziano Pelle and Shane Long scored either side of his spot-kick, securing Southampton a first European win in nearly 34 years.

“Three-zero is a good result,” he said. “First half I think we played good.

“We pressed them well and we didn’t give them so much space, but I think second half was not so good and we can improve much more.”

While there was the odd hairy moment at sold-out St Mary’s, on the whole it looked as if Koeman’s men will carry on from where they left off last term.

“I hope it can be special, like last season,” Tadic added. “We just need to work hard and try to improve every day and that’s it.

“Like this game, even if we win we know that we have a lot of things to improve and we just need to try every day to be better and better.”

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