Ronald Koeman says that the successful formation change is down to the players that he has rather than the formation itself.
Koeman was speaking to the media ahead of the south-coast clash between the Saints and AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium tomorrow night.
Koeman changed the setup of the Saints in hope of changing the club's form. After a poor run of form at the back-end of last year, the Southampton boss switched the shape of the side from a 4-2-3-1 to a 3-5-2.
Southampton had gone six games unbeaten since the formation change and hadn't conceded a goal until Chelsea beat the Saints at St. Mary's on Saturday afternoon. Koeman believes that the success of system is down to the players.
"The system doesn’t make players, players make a system. We have that kind of players to use different systems.
"In my opinion, that [the amount of ways Southampton can play] makes it more difficult for the opponents, they don't really expect how we play. It’s the best system to play against two strikers with three at the back, that’s my opinion."
Koeman is expecting a difficult test when his side make the short journey to Dean Court on Tuesday evening. Southampton beat the Cherries 2-0 in the reverse fixture but Koeman is expecting a more difficult test this time around.
"I think at that stage in the season they had more problems, maybe still trying to adapt to the Premier League. They had some new players.
"They can change the system what they did in the last few weeks. The stadium is a little bit smaller than ours and that’s more difficult. We know it’s difficult. Every Premier League game is difficult one if you’re not really 100%.
We have a lot of respect for them, they have respect for us. We had a very good first 45 minutes against Bournemouth at home and made it very difficult for them. That’s the same what we try to do tomorrow."
Koeman has been impressed with the work that Eddie Howe has done at Bournemouth and is hopeful that they don't get relegated.
"I hope [that Bournemouth survive]. It will be nice to continue with the derby against them. They are doing well, they’re strong and very competitive. They still have the possibility to stay in the Premier League and that will be a great effort for the club.
"It makes it more special if you play against them. It’s a short trip if you play away. For the south coast it’s fantastic to have two teams in the Premier League.
"From outside, I’m looking always to managers about the philosophy of the team and he [Eddie Howe] is creating a way to play attractive football with good technical players and that’s what I like."
Koeman also confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Shane Long is doubtful for the clash against Bournemouth after picking up an injury against Chelsea. However, the Dutchman confirmed that the injury was not as bad as first feared.