The spectre of those returns have understandably dominated the build-up to Sunday’s match, but it is not something Koeman is interested in. “It’s not my question, my question is to prepare the team for the Sunday game,” the Saints boss said. “I don’t talk about players who are coming back to the club where they played last season, because then I can talk every week about a player who comes back to Southampton. “Lallana is a very good player, doing well in Liverpool. He chose to change the club after a good opportunity and nothing else. “It is Southampton against Liverpool, not Southampton against some players who played last season for Southampton.” Friday’s pre-match press conference saw Koeman come closer than any time during his Saints reign to losing his cool as a journalist peppered him with questions about the returning triumvirate. The Dutchman told the reporter to “ask me about Southampton” and, as he became increasingly irked, asked: “You’re the agent of Lovren and Lallana? Why that kind of questions all the time?” After eight questions on the subject, the head of media intervened in a bid to move matters onto Southampton’s current squad. “You think I am thinking about losing a game? No way,” Koeman said. “I am thinking of winning the game. I am not negative thinking. Ronald Koeman has no interest in the reception Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren will receive on their St Mary’s return as the Southampton manager’s sole focus is on beating Liverpool. Press Association “I’m surprised they have four points less than we have and to come closer to us they have to win. If they don’t win, they don’t come closer.” Southampton’s chances of keeping Liverpool at bay are boosted by the return of Morgan Schneiderlin, Shane Long and Matt Targett on Sunday. There will still be a number of absentees at St Mary’s, though, with the suspended Ryan Bertrand joining Toby Alderweireld, Emmanuel Mayuka and Jay Rodriguez on the sidelines. The latter has not played for 321 days after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament last season, with some talk of a March return. “It’s a long way now for Jay and if it happens in March we are very happy,” Koeman said. “If it happens in April we will see but at the moment not because he needs more time.” Koeman had initially hoped Rodriguez’s return would be like a January signing, but if time ticks on it may be more like a summer addition. “I hope not,” he said. “I hope that Jay can still play some games in this season, but it is all about the freshness and the shape of the player. “We don’t take any risk because the player is too good to take that risk. “We know to handle injuries and problems because now I think for the first time I have players back after the last two or three months and that’s good news.” The trio were key protagonists in last summer’s unparalleled talent drain from the Saints as they swapped the south coast for Merseyside at a reported combined cost of £49million. Lallana, Lambert and Lovren have enjoyed differing levels of success since moving to Anfield and will receive receptions of varying warmth upon their first visit to Southampton since departing.
Even after extending its application deadline, the Viterbi Student Council’s Executive Board received only one application, causing the council to become inactive for this school year.The VSC is an umbrella organization that coordinates monthly meetings between the presidents and board members of various Viterbi organizations and the Viterbi administration.Paul Ledesma, associate director of undergraduate admissions for Viterbi and last year’s VSC faculty adviser, said he was not sure why there was so little interest in the VSC Executive Board this year.It is the responsibility of the outgoing Executive Board to organize and publicize elections, Ledesma said.“It’s possible that it wasn’t advertised adequately by last year’s leadership, but it’s also possible that students who may have run for the position found it more important to hold leadership positions within their specific engineering student organizations,” Ledesma wrote in an email.William Wu, last year’s VSC vice chair, said the organization had slowly moved away from its original role as a resource for students.“I think [VSC] is becoming obsolete because [organizations] were just going to it for money instead of using it as a resource and building a relationship with the administration,” Wu said. “It could have a big impact and could really make engineering present at USC. Right now, I don’t think there’s a need for it. Maybe there’s not a want for it.”Internal issues might also have played a role in this year’s suspension of the Executive Board, according to Wu.“The Board had its own separate communication issues to deal with [and] VSC also had to learn how to adapt to the regulations set by the administration, which previous Board members thought was always challenging,” Wu said.Wu noted that he doesn’t think an overarching committee is necessary.Traditionally, the VSC treasurer oversees the VSC Funding Board, which is responsible for allocating funds to various Viterbi clubs. This year, the Funding Board will continue to function as a separate entity despite the lack of a VSC Executive Board.“The Funding Board is operating as it always did,” Ledesma wrote. “With the exception of a few procedural changes and an updated, streamlined application, there are no changes to the Funding Board’s operation.”In fact, some club presidents feel that a separate funding board is more efficient than the funding board that was part of VSC in previous years.“The only change that has been made is pretty positive. They streamlined the [funding application] procedure,” said Lynn Ho, president of the Society of Women Engineers. “There’s only one form to actually get the money. Before, you would apply and it was harder.”The new funding board is also functioning well without a VSC Executive Board, according to those involved.“I’m kind of the person who is communicating between the [administration] and the student organizations right now, since there’s no VSC,” said Ken Diedrich, director of the Funding Board.Ledesma said the transition to a separate funding board has been a smooth one.“Ken made sure to inform student organization leadership of the change and reassure them the funding sources would remain unchanged at our first event of the year,” Ledesma wrote.After speaking with the leaders of various Viterbi organizations, Ledesma said he believes these groups will be unaffected by the lack of a VSC Executive Board.It has yet to be determined whether or not VSC will be active next year, but it will largely be based on student interest, Ledesma added.He wrote, “If students want to get VSC back up and running, I look forward to working with them,” he wrote.