Thursday 24 October 2019

Ronald Koeman insists he is still 'the man' at Everton

Ronald Koeman's Everton are 16th in the Premier League.
Ronald Koeman's Everton are 16th in the Premier League.

Ronald Koeman admits everyone at Everton "is a little bit worried" about the club's current predicament but he insists he still has the firm backing of majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri.

The manager has also emphasised the belief he retains in himself as the Toffees look to turn their fortunes around, with him declaring "I am still the man".

Everton, who were beaten 2-1 at home by Lyon in the Europa League on Thursday, have won only two of their last 12 games in all competitions and none of the last four.

Prior to the Lyon match, Koeman had said he had "full, total support from the board".

And when asked on Friday if he still had strong support from Moshiri, the Dutchman said: "Yes, that has not changed.

"We have daily contact, weekly contact. Everybody is of course a little bit worried about the situation, but that's normal."

Speaking at his press conference to preview Sunday's Premier League home clash with Arsenal, Koeman - whose side are 16th in the table, and bottom of their Europa League group - added: "I hate to lose, but I am still the man, and we fight for everything to turn it around.

"Of course, the pressure is on the manager.

"I watch television and I am sometimes on social media. I know what is going around, and that's normal. That's football.

"I don't step back, I go forward. Let's hope for three points, and after Sunday everybody will be more happy maybe than yesterday."

Everton spent big over the summer and there was considerable expectation surrounding them as this season began, with them looking to build on last term's seventh-placed finish under Koeman.

But the way things have panned out since has left plenty of observers questioning the business Everton did as they brought in the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Wayne Rooney, Davy Klaassen, Sandro Ramirez and Michael Keane while top-scorer Romelu Lukaku departed.

Koeman has stressed that he retains faith in the new recruits and his belief they will prove doubters wrong.

"I think it is not time to talk and mention about reasons why (things have gone as they have)," he said.

"We need to take the situation how it is now and prepare our team for Sunday.

"Of course, we have discussions inside and we can speak about fixtures, a tough start in the Premier League, Europa League football. But the position in the table is not where Everton needs to stay. That is what we need to change, and I still believe in the players and in the signings we made in the summer.

"Maybe everybody can have some doubts about several signings at the moment, but the future will tell everybody they were really good signings."

PA Media

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