Swiss trip set Saints up for Chelsea says Koeman

A trip to Switzerland that included ice hockey and Nordic skiing was excellent preparation for Southampton’s away game against Premier League leaders Chelsea, manager Ronald Koeman said on Friday.

He told the club’s official YouTube channel: “It was something different, totally different to what we’re normally doing on a daily basis.

“It was a different world, with different altitude to do some activities away from football and that was the most important.

“It was good to have four or five days off football but we did activities and you were a little tired at the end of the day. We had all the factors to have a good team-building trip.”

The squad survived their unusual sporting activities without any injuries and with Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld back in contention to play.

Southampton manager Koeman, who worked with Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho at Barcelona in the late 1990s, believes there is never a good time to play the London side but said: “Maybe now there’s a bit of pressure. They’re fighting for the Premier League title and have to win.”