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Delighted Koeman hails "big win" in fight for Europe

Ronald Koeman was delighted with his team's victory over Premier League strugglers Newcastle United.

Christopher Lee/Getty Images

Ronald Koeman was delighted with his side's 3-1 victory over Premier League strugglers Newcastle United.

A dominant first half saw the Saints go in at half time with a comfortable 2-0 lead after goals from Shane Long and Graziano Pelle. Victor Wanyama scored his first goal of the season in the second half to ensure that Andros Townsend's thunderous strike was just a consolation.

Koeman was left pleased with his side's performance, especially the first half display that saw Saints' front four cause the Magpies defence a lot of trouble.

The Saints boss told Southampton's official YouTube channel: "I think we played a very good first half. We played with four in front and they created a lot of problems to Newcastle.

"We scored a first fast goal from Shane [Long] and that made it easier. You know Shane, he’s always busy and moving. He’s always trying to make the movements in the space behind the defenders."

Koeman also praised his side's fast start in the game, an aspect of last week's performance at Leciester City that disappointed the Dutchman.

"They are struggling. They are not a team to show much confidence. They are fighting against relegation. If you give them that belief from the start of the game, they can be dangerous.

"If you start like today, they don’t get control of the game and you can create changes and that is what we saw in the first 45 minutes."

The victory sees Southampton sit in seventh place on 50 points with many of their rivals for the European places have games in hand. However, Koeman stated that the three points will go a long way in Saints fulfilling their ambition of playing in Europe once again.

"It’s a big win. We like to play in Europe. It’s close to the end of the season and every defeat can make a problem and every win, you come closer to the achievement what we want to achieve.

"After today, 50 points. We need to fight more and we like to show away form because we need to win away matches because that makes a difference."

Saints' next match will see them come up against Everton at Goodison Park next Saturday.