Assistant manager Erwin Koeman believes Everton’s whistle-stop involvement in the Dresden Cup will have boosted their pre-season preparations with a Premier League opener against Tottenham Hotspur just a fortnight away.
The Blues played Dynamo Dresden on Friday evening before walking out to face Real Betis on Saturday afternoon with the Toffees using 23 players in total.
And while a 2-1 loss against the hosts and a penalty shootout defeat against Betis may not have been the ideal souvenir from the three-day trip to Germany, the Dutchman says it will tee the squad up for an important 14 days ahead.
"It’s still pre-season and we know the league will start in two weeks so we have to be ready for that,” he told the Club’s official Facebook page in a live interview.
“Betis are a good team who play in a Spanish way; they like to build up slowly, they have very good technique and they did well last year. For us, it has been good to play against two different systems and you have to take the best out of that.”
Saturday’s game was a first involvement of the summer for Romelu Lukaku following Belgium’s Euro 2016 campaign, as well as Gareth Barry and Arouna Kone who have recovered from recent knocks.
And while the likes of Academy graduates Kieran Dowell, Tom Davies and Conor Grant all took the opportunity to grab more game time, Koeman was happy to see some senior stars return to action.
"Some players played for the first time after coming back from injury or starting pre-season later, so there were a lot of changes from yesterday’s game,” he added.
"It’s very important the players get minutes; some got 90 minutes today and others got their first minutes, so it’s positive. There is a short period [before the season] but it counts for everybody.
“The young players get time, they had some in Austria and had some yesterday. So for them it’s massive and I hope they will go on and develop themselves."