Ronald Koeman: Winning at St James’s Park was better than Manchester United victory

HAPPY ... Southampton's Eljero Elia celebrates  with manager Ronald Koeman.
HAPPY ... Southampton's Eljero Elia celebrates with manager Ronald Koeman.

RONALD Koeman says Southampton’s win at St James’s Park was even better than their victory at Manchester United last week.

A double from Eljero Elia fired the Saints to a third away win in a week as they beat Newcastle United 2-1.

The third-placed side won for the first time at Old Trafford in 27 years last Sunday before also seeing off Ipswich Town.

Southampton had not triumphed on Tyneside since Matt Le Tissier scored the winner in 1997, and after watching his side notch up another away success, Koeman said it was the most satisfying win of the week.

He said: “I’m very happy and very proud of everybody.

“It was a long week, a difficult week, with three games away, but if you win games, that gives players confidence, that gives players spirit, which you need to win against Newcastle.

“In my opinion, everyone was proud after the win last week against Man United, because that’s history, that’s a great place to win and it was a long time ago that we last won there.

“But as a manager, I think the win (at Newcastle) was still better, because it was the third game of the week and we had some injuries.”

Koeman felt Elia’s second goal came at the perfect time for Southampton.

The Dutchman added: “The team was looking very comfortable (in the first half), and we were unlucky with their goal. The second half was more difficult. Newcastle was a little bit the dominant team at that moment, and we scored a great goal.

“After that, we had good organisation, defended well.”

Meanwhile, United striker Adam Campbell made a dream debut for loan club Gateshead by scoring both goals in a 2-0 win at Nuneaton Town on Saturday.

The 20-year-old said: “I’ve found a place where I feel happy, and I can enjoy my football again.”

Forward Callum Roberts, 17, also on a month’s emergency youth loan, set up one of the strikes.

Campbell added: “I think you saw today what he’s all about – getting at players, running down the line, cutting in and getting assists.”