Koeman: Show Aggression From The Start

by Mike Taylor

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Ronald Koeman says Everton must be aggressive and show their quality from the first whistle to come out on top against MFK Ružomberok.

The Blues face the Fortuna Liga outfit in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League third round qualifier at Goodison Park on Thursday (8.05pm kick-off).

The Slovakian outfit overturned a 1-0 first-leg deficit to record a 2-0 away victory over SK Brann, of Norway, and progress to this stage.

Manager Koeman has “total confidence” that his Blues side can reach the group stages of the competition, but has warned the Toffees must be prepared to battle to get there.

“We’ve watched several of Ružomberok’s games, we’ve seen clips and we’ve put all the information possible to the players,” he told evertontv. “There’s no surprise what we will get against us tomorrow and that’s good because you need that information as a player so you know what to expect.

“It’s not an easy job but I think we’re totally confident we can reach the group stage.

“We were a little bit surprised [about Ružomberok progressing] because if you lose the first game 1-0 at home, you need a really big result away to progress. But they showed they were the stronger team.

“It shows that you don’t have easy games in Europe. You need to work, you need to be aggressive and put your qualities on the pitch.

“Normally, we are the stronger team but that is ‘normally’. Anything can happen in football and we have to be prepared for tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Koeman also confirmed that Phil Jagielka will remain as Everton’s captain for the 2017/18 campaign.

He added: “We will keep the same: Phil Jagielka is the captain, Gareth Barry is the second captain and Leighton Baines is the third captain.”

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