Boss: Win At Goodison Will Restore Confidence

by Paul McNamara

Ronald Koeman says Everton’s confidence will receive an enormous shot in the arm as soon as his players rediscover the “winning feeling”.

The Blues boss was encouraged by his side’s display in defeat at Manchester United on Sunday but accepted there remained plenty of scope for improvement.

And he stressed the importance of drawing positives from elements of the Old Trafford encounter - and capitalising on home advantage with the Blues’ next four games all at Goodison Park.

That sequence begins on Wednesday night against Sunderland in the Carabao Cup third round. Everton welcome Bournemouth to Goodison on Saturday, with Burnley the visitors eight days later.

Those two Premier League matches sandwich a Europa League clash with Cypriot team Apollon Limassol.

“Playing away at Manchester United is never easy but we showed we could compete with them and that needs to give everybody a lot of confidence,” said Koeman.

“But it is up to the players… you can support but it is up to them to make the right decisions and not be afraid. After (going behind) 1-0 (at Manchester United) we showed a different phase… and that is the phase I like to see.

“We need to analyse the game but it is important to take the positives from Sunday and prepare ourselves for Wednesday.

“We now play four times in a row at home in different competitions, we need a feeling for a win and that will give the best confidence to the players.”

Koeman made five changes to his side for the trip to unbeaten United following the Europa League loss at Atalanta.

Tom Davies and Idrissa Gana Gueye were among the recalled quintet, and Koeman singled out the pair for praise – along with fellow midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin.

He also expressed his satisfaction with the manner in which his side delivered a more combative and assured performance after last Thursday's defeat in Italy.

“We had a good reaction,” said Koeman. “We spoke about needing more desire. Last Thursday was really poor and in every aspect we had to show more aggression and more football. And we did - but it didn’t make any difference to the result.

“Finally it is the defeat that counts. But I think it was a different defeat than it was last Thursday.

“We deserved more – we did not deserve that high score. It was a difficult start to the game, we were one-nil down quickly. We dropped too far back and did not press up front enough.

“But we grew into the game and our confidence grew. Then we felt something was possible.

“Tom Davies played well. He was aggressive and had good movement. You make your substitutions, first Davies and later Gana, who played really well in the midfield with Morgan.

“Morgan was back to what he can be and what he normally is and we took some risks to bring on more offensive players.”

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