Koeman: We Are Ready

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Ronald Koeman declared his side ready for the start of the Premier League season after watching his side maintain their unbeaten pre-season record against Sevilla.

A Kevin Mirallas penalty helped Everton come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw against the La Liga outfit, who had overturned Sandro Ramirez’s opener through an Ever Banega brace.

The draw preserved a solid record for the Blues throughout their preparations, with wins over Gor Mahia and FC Twente, plus a 1-1 draw with KRC Genk. On top of that, the 2-0 aggregate success over MFK Ruzomberok in the Europa League saw the Toffees safely through to the next round of the competition.

That run has set Everton up nicely for the visit of Stoke City next Saturday, their first league game of the 2017/18 campaign.

“The team is ready for the season starting next week,” Koeman told evertontv. “We have had two good games in the Europa League and we know the importance of playing for points. We start at home and that is always good as well. 

“It is always good to have no losses in pre-season because it is better for the confidence of the players. I thought a 2-2 draw was a fair reflection of what happened this afternoon.  

“It was a good friendly against a really good football team. Sevilla have good qualities on the ball and they made it really difficult. But everybody got some minutes and we are happy enough about the physical levels of the team. 

“Of course we can still improve, because we lost control of the game and found it tough after the first half. But it was a good friendly to end on.”

Everton were quickly out of the traps and went in front after just 34 seconds. Tom Davies fed Sandro and the Spaniard kept his cool to round David Soria in the Sevilla goal and slide the ball home.

Koeman was happy to see his new signing get off the mark, particularly at Goodison Park.

“It was pleasing to see Sandro score,” he added. “It was great movement and a good start to the game. We did what we needed to do when we had the space. 

“We know Sandro is a scoring player and it was good for the boy to score in front of the fans.”

The Blues boss also gave an update on fitness concerns around Aaron Lennon and James McCarthy. The pair missed out against Sevilla, with Koeman adding: “Aaron was not fit for today and James wasn’t fit, either. James still has some issues with his knee and, out of protection, we kept him out of the squad.”

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