Sunday 22 September 2019

Koeman warns players they're playing for their futures at Everton

Everton manager Ronald Koeman. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire
Everton manager Ronald Koeman. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire newsdesk

Everton's players have been left in no doubt that they are playing for their long-term futures at Goodison Park as Ronald Koeman prepares for the January sales.

Tonight's trip to Hull is unlikely to impact hugely on Koeman's plans, but many in his squad will need to take every chance available to make themselves part of the Dutchman's lofty ambitions.

"We play the games now but, in the long term, you want to make the squad stronger than it is," said Koeman.

"It's all about performances from individuals. Finally you make choices about what will happen now and to the end of the season. In several aspects we need to improve and we will do that."

The rock-bottom Tigers go into tonight's match having won only one of their previous 16 league fixtures and after losing their last three in a row.

While Everton will certainly fancy their chances, but Koeman warned his players to take nothing for granted.

"I don't look to the classification, the position in the table, because I watched Hull against Manchester City. After 70 minutes it was still 0-0 and City were not creating a lot of chances."

Everton registered their first away win since September by beating Leicester on St Stephen's Day to halt a run of four straight defeats on the road.

Koeman will once again be without Ireland midfielder James McCarthy (hamstring) and goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg (dead leg).

Hull manager Mile Phelan has won just three of his 18 league games in charge. His task has not been made easier by the loss of defender Moses Odubajo, goalkeeper Allan McGregor and summer signing Will Keane to long-term injuries, while striker Abel Hernandez, who has missed the last seven games due to a groin problem, remains at least 10 days away from a return to action.

Hull City v Everton

Live, Sky Sports 1, 8.0

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