Southampton manager Ronald Koeman brushes off relegation talk

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman is adamant that they will not be involved in a Premier League relegation battle this season, despite the loss of five key players.

Ronald Koeman does not expect Southampton to be involved in a Premier League relegation battle this season.

The Saints finished eighth last term but have since lost manager Mauricio Pochettino to Tottenham Hotspur and five of their key players this summer.

It has been suggested that new boss Koeman may struggle to keep his weakened St Mary's squad in the top flight, but the Dutchman is adamant that Southampton are still strong enough to avoid a dramatic fall from grace.

"For me, eighth to relegation is a lot of positions," Koeman told reporters. "I don't think that will happen - we lost a lot of good football players but brought in some new ones.

"The pre-season was difficult, but it's been difficult for everybody. Until the end of August we can bring in more changes but every team has that problem.

"We are prepared and I believe in the qualities and our ambition and that we can do a good season."

Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren, Calum Chambers and Luke Shaw have all left the Saints this summer.

Morgan Schneiderlin of Southampton during the pre season friendly match between Southampton and Real Sociedad at St Mary's Stadium on August 10, 2013
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4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
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17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
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