Match-winner Elia grateful for Koeman belief
Eljero Elia thanked Southampton manager Ronald Koeman for showing faith in him after the winger's brace sealed a 2-1 Premier League victory at Newcastle United.
Elia featured in the Dutch squad that reached the 2010 FIFA World Cup final, but he moved to Southampton on loan from Werder Bremen earlier this month following a disappointing period of his career that included a failed spell at Juventus.
Having made his debut in last weekend's 1-0 triumph at Manchester United, Elia gave his new team-mates a 14th-minute lead on Saturday and then sealed the points after Yoan Gouffran's fortuitous equaliser for Newcastle.
"I want to thank first my team-mates and the trainer and the chairman for trusting in me and giving me the chance to play for Southampton," he told Sky Sports.
"The feeling for the first goal was like a dream come true. On the second goal it was like I don't feel nothing in my body and I was so happy."
Elia raced to the touchline to embrace compatriot Koeman after opening the scoring and added: "He was the only one who believed in me.
"I came to the club and all the players have helped me from the first moment. The captain [Jose Fonte], he speaks a lot with me and I'm so happy."
Despite acquiring a reputation for being a difficult player to manage over recent years, Koeman insisted he saw little problem in signing Elia when he became available.
"It's not really a risk," he said. "I knew maybe that he'd miss some rhythm of the game and to get that rhythm he has to take minutes, he has to play.
"He’s a strong guy and the best of him today was that he was very sharp in the second ball and looking for the space behind the defenders.
"Two times he scored a great goal. He's a good boy and he needs the confidence of the coach.
"We need those kind of players. Sadio Mane is away from the Africa Cup [of Nations] and I'm happy to have Elia in the team."