April 03, 2015 19:21:41 UK
Southampton boss Ronald Koeman has conceded his team are now unlikely to earn a top four finish this season.
Saints were the surprise package for much of the season as they battled their way into the top four and made the dream of Champions League football at St Mary’s a realistic possibility.
Victories at home against Arsenal and away to Manchester United in early January had Southampton fans purring, but a run of just two wins in six games has now left them facing an uphill task.
Ahead of their trip to Goodison Park to face Everton, Koeman admits his side are going to find it hard to bridge the six-point gap between themselves and Man United in fourth place.
“Realistically the Champions League will be difficult for us because we have the distance to make up in points,” he said.
Southampton are 2.75 to defeat Everton, who are 2.80, and Koeman is eyeing up a resurgence following their home win against Burnley last time out. He feels qualifying for Europe is still within their compass.
“We play eight finals now and the season so far has been fantastic. If we reach Europe, it will mean a special season for the club.”
Koeman anticipates an open content at Goodison, it is 4.00 there will be over 3.5 goals in the game, with the two teams having similarly attacking philosophies.
“It will be a tough game, but a nice one because we play the same way,” he added.
“How we play is about winning, not about controlling and defending. That makes the game more open than normal.”
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