Ronald Koeman inspired by Leicesters title push

Saints threatened to gatecrash the Premier League's established order last term before eventually finishing in seventh place.

But Leicester are showing no signs of tailing off and their extraordinary march to the top of the table has not just got the so-called bigger clubs thinking.

"The difference between Leicester this year and Southampton last year is that they have kept the level and kept the spirit," said Saints boss Koeman

"For us last year it was more difficult

It gives everyone a good feeling because it shows it's not all about money

And that's good to know

"Maybe that's also good to know for the big clubs

It's a tough competition and if you are not really focused you can lose

"There is one team showing that regular high level, and they are first in the table

Maybe we can learn from them."

Saints are currently ninth and travel to Stoke on Saturday looking to climb back above the Potters.

If they are to match last season's feat of qualifying for the Europa League, Koeman needs his strikers to start firing.

With Charlie Austin out injured, Shane Long is the only one of Southampton's fit frontmen to have hit the net this year, with Graziano Pelle having failed to score since November.

"We know we can keep clean sheets," added Koeman

"We need to keep that and improve in our attacking, to create more

What the strikers can bring makes the difference in our ambition until the end of the season.

"We need the goals from Pelle, we need the goals from Shane Long, we need the creativity of Dusan Tadic, the quality of Sadio Mane

We need that because it really makes the difference.

"It's always difficult for strikers if they don't score for a long time, maybe they are under a little bit more pressure

But Pelle is experienced enough

He had a similar period last season and after that he showed how to score goals

"That's football

You have good periods, you have bad periods

You have chances, you miss chances

It's up to the whole team to create and when you get a chance you have to be clinical

We have to improve, we know that.

"We need another good result this weekend because it's a big game

Stoke are two points above us in the table and both teams have a lot of ambition to grow, and it's always very close between us."

Source : PA

Source: PA