Ronald Koeman linked with Netherlands: Southampton manager vows to stay in Premier League

The current manager of the Dutch national side, Guus Hiddink, is under-fire

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The Independent Football

Ronald Koeman has pledged not to desert Southampton for the Netherlands job, despite former Netherlands team-mates tipping him to succeed under-fire Guus Hiddink.

Southampton boss Koeman claimed Netherlands missed their chance to install him as national manager when opting for Hiddink instead in March.

Former Netherlands great Ronald de Boer has led the clamour for Koeman to replace Hiddink as Netherlands boss, claiming the ex-Barcelona full-back was the right choice in March.

But Koeman vowed to see out his three-year contract at Southampton, especially after guiding Saints to third in the Premier League table to make September's manager of the month shortlist.

"I hope to stay here for my whole contract, but it's football," said Koeman, preparing for Saturday's Premier League clash with Sunderland at St Mary's.

"There's certainly no chance to move now out of Southampton.

"I was interested in that job, because when I left Feyenoord I was nominated to be the national coach but the federation chose for Hiddink in that moment.

"But not now, I'm the coach and manager of Southampton and they have to wait if they want me as their coach.

"Ronald de Boer said the same thing one year ago, because a lot of people in Netherlands were surprised about the final decision from the federation.

"People are now talking about the national team again because we had a poor start to the Europeans."

Ronald-Koeman-3.jpg
Ronald Koeman during his playing days

 

Hiddink has come under fire after Netherlands lost two of their three opening Euro 2016 qualifying matches.

Former Ajax, Barcelona and Rangers defender De Boer backed Koeman to take over, saying, "With all due respect for Hiddink, he's 67 years old. He's done, in my eyes.

"Koeman showed with Feyenoord he can really shape a team."

Koeman threw out any notion of leaving St Mary's however, claiming Netherlands' issues are "not my problem".

Saying he believes the Netherlands missed their chance to install him as manager, Koeman said: "In my opinion yes.

"That was last season, but because I stopped as coach in Feyenoord and they had the opportunity to speak to me.

"That's the past though, this is a new situation and I'm very happy to be the manager of Southampton, and I don't chase this situation.

"That's always nice, it's much better than them talking bad about you, but we know that the people in Holland are a little bit afraid and disappointed about results and how they play.

"That's true, but that's not my problem.

"I was always interested to manage in England one day, and now I've got the opportunity with Southampton my feeling is great about the football, the competition and the team I'm working very hard to be successful with."

 

Meanwhile Koeman confirmed England striker Jay Rodriguez remains two months away from a return to training, as he continues to recover from knee ligament surgery in March.

"He's doing well. He's in his last part of rehabilitation, to recover 100 per cent," said Koeman.

"But I think it will be seven or eight more weeks for him to be fit for training with the group.

"So we will wait for that, but he's working hard and doing everything to be back in good shape."

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