Koeman: Niasse Has Seized Opportunity

Ronald Koeman hailed Oumar Niasse after the striker stepped off the bench to help Everton come from behind to beat Bournemouth.

Trailing to Joshua King’s goal early in the second half, the Blues boss introduced Niasse and Tom Davies on 55 minutes, with the latter setting up the former to first level with a thumping finish past Asmir Begovic before deciding the contest late on when bundling home from close range.

The brace added to Niasse’s goal in the 3-0 Carabao Cup win against Sunderland on Wednesday, and Koeman admitted the frontman has grasped his opportunity with both hands.

“The boy has the kind of qualities that, when we are struggling, he can add aggression and direct play, which cause a lot of problems,” he said. 

“For the first goal, he won the ball in midfield, made the one-two and it was a great goal. Nobody can stop him at the moment! He did well and all credit must go to him. 

“He can play a big part for us. It is about opportunities for players and for strikers, productivity. Oumar came on last Wednesday [against Sunderland] and scored a goal. Today he had longer on the pitch and he was one of the players that helped us get the win.”

The introduction of Niasse saw Koeman shuffle his pack, with the substitute joining Dominic Calvert-Lewin up front, and Everton playing a little more direct than they had in the first half.

But Koeman was pleased with character shown by his players to not only demonstrate their tactical flexibility but to also go on and win the game.

“The first half was ok,” he added. “We know that Bournemouth are a good team and well organised so that makes it difficult. We didn’t create a lot and it wasn’t enough in the first half. 

“Going 1-0 down straight after half time made it very difficult with the situation that the players are in. But we did the best that we could do in that time to change the system, to play different to how we normally do and we showed great character. 

“You can’t always play the same way, and it is a big quality of a team if you can change the style. Today, this meant playing with two strikers, and it helped Dominic when Oumar came on.

“Bournemouth had a big chance to make it 2-0 with Jermain Defoe, but late on we showed everything to win the game.”

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