Sport Soccer

Sunday 22 October 2017

Everton must forget about City festivities - Ronald Koeman

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has to decide which goalkeeper will start on Saturday
Everton manager Ronald Koeman has to decide which goalkeeper will start on Saturday

Ronald Koeman has told his players to forget their heroics against Manchester City as they prepare to take on struggling Crystal Palace.

Everton produced one of the results of the season so far last Sunday when they romped to a 4-0 win against Pep Guardiola's side.

After enduring a shaky run of form, the Toffees have won four of their last six Premier League games and are currently the best of the rest behind the top six.

Palace, in contrast, are outside the relegation zone on goal difference only and Sam Allardyce is still looking for his first win in the league since taking over as manager.

Allardyce claimed his first victory at the sixth attempt in the FA Cup in midweek, with Palace winning their third-round replay against Bolton 2-1.

Koeman said: "I think with his experience he is the right man in the right position.

"It's always difficult for a new manager coming to a new place during the season. You need time, maybe they are struggling a little bit but they still have good players, they still are physically a strong team, they're strong at home.

"I think it was really important for them to win the game last Tuesday against Bolton and we will see.

"But we know it's a new one. We can't celebrate what we did last week because you know in football you have to prepare yourself for the next, and the next maybe is still more difficult than it was last weekend."

The City result left Koeman with problems of his own - namely how best to juggle the resources at his disposal.

New signings Morgan Schneiderlin and Ademola Lookman came off the bench, with the latter marking his debut with a goal.

At the other end of the pitch, meanwhile, Koeman must decide whether to stick with Joel Robles in goal or recall a fit-again Maarten Stekelenburg.

The Dutchman has sat out five games with a dead leg, although he was on the bench against City.

"Last week Maarten Stekelenburg was still not 100 per cent to start the game - he is now," said Koeman.

"We have some positions in the team maybe with a little bit more competition than in other positions. We have players back from injury like James McCarthy, we have new signings like Morgan and Lookman, and we have competition with the goalkeepers.

"That's what you want as a manager. After that you need to make decisions."

Everton's form has seen them close to within seven points of the top six, and they have a four-point gap to the chasing pack behind.

Not that Koeman will be studying the table too intently any time soon.

He said: "You always see a difference when you have a win like City, and of course 4-0 was a big result.

"What we like is to win games. It starts always with yourself and don't look above yourself.

"Concentrate on what we need, what we like and how we like to play. That is the most important thing and then we will see what the final classification will be."

Full-back Leighton Baines has been struggling with a rib complaint but should be fit.

Press Association

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport