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Saturday 15 December 2018

Ronald Koeman: I've retained Everton board's backing - dependent on results

Ronald Koeman's Everton have won just two of their first eight Premier League fixtures
Ronald Koeman's Everton have won just two of their first eight Premier League fixtures

Ronald Koeman feels he has retained the Everton board's backing having met with majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri on Friday, though the Dutchman accepts his position is dependent on results.

Moshiri, chairman Bill Kenwright and others in the club's hierarchy visited Finch Farm last week to assess recent building work at the Toffees' training ground and while on site spoke with boss Koeman.

The renovation of Everton's own playing squad looked impressive during their summer spending spree but reality has so far not matched expectation, with two Premier League wins from eight leaving them near the relegation zone.

Moshiri told talkSPORT earlier this month that Koeman had his "total support" and while he believes that is the case, the manager is mindful that those in his occupation have precarious lives.

"We spoke about football," Koeman said. "There was not really a message but the feeling is that they (Everton's board) are behind the team, they are behind the manager.

"Everybody knows in football that's a nice thing but in football always, finally, it's all about results. Until now it's full, total support from the board, yes."

A manager's short shelf life was highlighted by Craig Shakespeare at the weekend when the then-Leicester boss suggested those in his profession are only ever four games away from scrutiny.

Everton face Lyon, Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester, who have since axed Shakespeare, in their next quartet of games.

Asked whether he was a quartet of results away from a crisis, a smiling Koeman responded: "Maybe I'm in the crisis?

"But everybody knows in football the manager's job is a really difficult job because things change really fast. Most of the time the manager doesn't get time to improve the team.

"It's football, it's hard to take for the managers but it's part of the job."

The Toffees have had equally poor results in the Europa League and sit bottom of their group after two games, having picked up just a point in fixtures with Atalanta and Apollon Limassol.

Lyon, who themselves have just two points, are the visitors to Goodison Park on Thursday and former Manchester United striker Memphis Depay will make his first return to England since being sold by Jose Mourinho in January.

The 23-year-old's destination then would have been Merseyside had Koeman got his wish.

"Finally the club Everton didn't get an agreement with Man United," he said.

"Depay chose to make the move to Lyon. He's still a young player, one of the Dutch talents for the future for the national team.

"He's always dangerous because when he's not really on his level, he has some individual qualities in free-kicks, shots from outside the box, he's always a dangerous player that we need to control.

"He didn't play a lot for United. He's still a young player, I like the player. We tried it but we didn't reach an agreement for him."

James McCarthy (knee) could return on Sunday against Arsenal with Thursday's match coming too soon, while full-back Jonjoe Kenny is a doubt to face Lyon.

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