Koeman happy to allow Caulker to join Liverpool

Rob Conlon
Steven Caulker: Defender played only eight times for Saints

Steven Caulker: Defender played only eight times for Saints

Ronald Koeman insists he was happy to cut short Steven Caulker’s loan deal at Southampton to allow the defender to join Liverpool.

The 24-year-old centre-back moved to St Mary’s on loan from QPR over the summer, but only played eight matches in all competitions for the club.

Caulker’s last appearance for Saints came in their 6-1 Capital One Cup quarter-final mauling last month against Liverpool – a club the defender has now joined until the end of the season.

“We spoke about his situation yesterday evening,” Koeman said.

“Steven came in in the summer before we signed Virgil van Dijk because we had long-term injuries and he was a back-up.

“He didn’t play a lot and normally we have more defenders for that position. I am not to stop his opportunity to play for Liverpool.”

Caulker’s departure is likely to have little effect on Southampton on Wednesday, when they look to get back to winning ways against Watford.

Saints have lost eight of their previous 10 matches in all competitions, but Koeman is confident they will soon turn their fortunes around.

“We have had some injuries to key players but that’s about the tough winter time, you have to play a lot,” he said.

“The players don’t get a lot of freshness because they play so much and out of that you have to make more changes on the team and sometimes that’s difficult.

“When you have no confidence and you have got six or seven defeats (like) we have had it makes it more difficult.

“It’s not that we are playing badly we are still playing good but not good enough.”

He added: “The confidence dropped a little but about the last few results. It’s an important week – Watford at home and West Brom at home.

“You like to win and you know the Premier League is a tough competition and sometimes difficult to explain, more chances than our opponents, more possession than our opponents and finally we lose the game and that is sometimes difficult.

“I have total confidence in the players that we will turn around but we have to realise that they are very important to the rest of the season.”

Saints welcome a strong Watford side to St Mary’s on Wednesday and Koeman is well aware a tough match awaits.

“It’s a team playing out of very good organisation and they have the spirit and the confidence in every match that they can win,” the Dutchman said.

“They have two in front full of confidence, one (Troy Deeney) is working very hard for (Odion) Ighalo so that he can be the man scoring goals and that is difficult.”