Leighton Baines can’t wait to start working alongside Ronald Koeman - and he is predicting an electric atmosphere inside Goodison Park for the Dutchman’s first competitive game in charge against Tottenham Hotspur.
Koeman’s reign as Everton manager commences with a home opener against the North Londoners on the weekend of 13/14 August, following the announcement of the fixture schedule for the upcoming Premier League campaign.
Despite it being the middle of the close-season, Baines was back at Finch Farm for some early fitness training on Wednesday - and evertontv spoke to the defender to get his reaction to the news that Netherlands legend Koeman is the Club’s new boss.
“It’s what we’ve all been waiting for and anticipating,” said Baines. “It’s been really well received and it’s the appointment everyone was hoping for.
“It’s an interesting summer for this football club and the appointment of a new manager means everyone can start to look forward to what’s to come.
“His [Koeman’s] reputation speaks for itself. As a player he was obviously top-drawer and he’s on that path now as a manager as well.
“He did a fantastic job - in what was a difficult job - at Southampton with the players they lost. He did incredible there and that’s why I think our Chairman and Mr Moshiri were so focused on making him the man.
“We are just delighted that he is in now and are all looking forward to working with him.”
Baines has welcomed the fact that the Koeman era at Goodison starts with a high-profile fixture against Tottenham, who last season qualified for the Champions League with a third-placed finish.
“We’ve got an exciting opener at home against Spurs which will be a great test for us and something we will look forward to," added the left-back.
“We want to get off to a good start and those first few weeks will be really important in trying to do that.
“Then you naturally look for different games - the derbies. But the way the league is now, they are all tough games. It proved that last season in particular.
“Every game is a big game and we are looking forward to getting started.”