Saints were widely expected to struggle this season having lost Pochettino to Tottenham and a number of their star players to fellow Premier League clubs. But Koeman brought in a host of new faces, many of whom were not household names in England, and has since led the south coast club into the top four with 15 games remaining. Southampton boss Ronald Koeman has responded light-heartedly to claims from former Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino that he inherited a “winning team” when he took over at St Mary’s in the summer. Pochettino’s Tottenham sit two points below Southampton in sixth and the Argentinian reportedly told Catalan radio station RAC1 that he gave Koeman a platform for success. “You have to say that they invested close to 80million euros (£59.8million) in the summer and it was already a winning team on the up,” he was quoted as saying. “When we arrived at Southampton in January of 2013 they had the team that had conceded the most goals in the league. It was a team with a lot of problems, with players like Adam Lallana who wasn’t playing and Luke Shaw who wasn’t playing but in one and a half years we turned it round.” But Koeman hit back when questioned about Pochettino’s remarks ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with managerless QPR. “First of all, it was on Spanish radio so I don’t know exactly what was said and if the comments were really like that,” said the Dutchman. “He is free to give his opinions, I’m happy in Southampton and thank you Mauricio; I have an easy job! “That is the reason that I came to Southampton, to have a little holiday with everything organised, a good team and good players. I’m joking! I have no comments.” Given Koeman’s overhaul of the squad, which continued in January with the loan acquisitions of Eljero Elia and Filip Djuricic as well as the permanent signing of Ryan Bertrand, the former Feyenoord boss believes he has put his stamp on a side he did admit owes a lot to those who have spent time rebuilding the club before his arrival. “It is feeling like my side because we had to make a lot of changes in the team,” he added. “The way the club is doing makes it easier for the manager, Pochettino, (former owner) Markus Liebherr and (head of football development) Les Reed, they have all done a fantastic job in Southampton and, as a manger, you need those people to work well in a good structure – that is the best quality of Southampton Football Club. “We don’t have a lot of people but the confidence I have as the manager is very good. We had to change the team because we lost a lot of good players. Working with the scouting, we brought in good players and the adaptation was easy and the team is working well. The spirit is fantastic but there are different reasons (for that). Koeman confirmed both Victor Wanyama and Morgan Schneiderlin have recovered from respective injuries and will travel to Loftus Road on Saturday. With two key midfielders back, Koeman’s squad is almost at full-strength and he feels it will have to remain that way if Saints are to continue their push for European qualification. “We believe in the way we play football and if we can keep everyone fit, that is key, then we can fight for the first six or seven positions in the table,” he added. “We have been struggling a little bit in the last few weeks, not in terms of the results, but we don’t have the kind of numbers of players and it can be a bit of a problem when we have a bench which has only under-21 players on it. “But still we are fourth in the table and in my opinion it is amazing what we are doing. It is difficult to keep that but there is a possibility, if we keep everybody fit and available, to fight for European football.” Press Association
According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement international students who are taking courses in the US may be at risk of deportation if their University opts to transition into online classes only.The agency made the announcement on Monday stating that students with certain visas “may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States,” adding that, “The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States.”The move may affect thousands of foreign students who have come to the US to take courses through universities, colleges, and those participating in training programs.Harvard, which has decided to offer strictly online courses until the pandemic subsides, spoke out about the announcement saying it undermines their efforts to keep students safe by keeping them off campus:“we are deeply concerned that the guidance issued today by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement imposes a blunt, one-size-fits-all approach to a complex problem giving international students, particularly those in online programs, few options beyond leaving the country or transferring schools,” Harvard University President Larry Bacow said Monday in a statement.The agency says international students who want to remain in the US should consider other measures like transferring to a school that is still offering in-person instruction or to one that offers a hybrid of both online and in-person classes.Harvard says it will “work closely with other colleges and universities around the country to chart a path forward.”While students do have the opt to transfer schools, many colleges and universities have opted to transition from in-person to online courses making in-person courses more difficult to come by. Some colleges and universities have also opted to shorten their semesters.
Spurs booked their place by beating Brighton 2-0.Premier League leaders Chelsea were drawn away to Derby, while Liverpool will travel to Bournemouth. Gortnahoe’s Shane Long scored for Southampton as they overcame Stoke 3-2 in the League Cup – they will now go to third-tier Sheffield United.Defending champions Manchester City were knocked out of the League Cup last night.They surprisingly lost 2-0 at home to Newcastle, who’ll now face Tottenham in the quarter-finals.