Koeman: Focus On Three Points Against Lyon

Ronald Koeman says a win over Olympique Lyonnais in the Europa League can provide a boost to Everton ahead of a run of three games in three different competitions.

However, the Blues boss is insistent the focus must solely rest on picking up a much-needed three points against the seven-time Ligue 1 champions.

With just one point gained in Group E so far, Koeman knows the importance of Thursday’s fixture but has seen the hard work his players have put in at USM Finch Farm in order to achieve that objective.

“It is a really important game,” said Koeman. “We know the situation in the group - we need a win. We expected a win last time against Apollon Limassol but we were unlucky and they scored in the last few minutes [to draw].

“But you know that one point from two games means you need a win. You need three wins at home and try to pick up what you can away. The situation is that we need to win to get good possibilities to go through in this tournament.

“The best medicine for a football player to reach is best level individually and collectively is to win. You need a little bit of luck. If we had taken one of the two chances late on against Brighton then the outlook would be totally different.

“We know what we need to do [on Thursday]. The boys are working really hard to get it right. It is a good night tomorrow to win and get the full confidence back in the team.

“We have three different games in three different competitions in the next week. We want to do well in all of them but our only focus is tomorrow and that is what we need to concentrate on.

“After tomorrow then we prepare ourselves for Sunday. It is all about tomorrow first. The players can get a boost from a good game and a good result.”

Koeman has seen first-hand what kind of a challenge his team face when they take on the French giants at Goodison Park in their third group fixture.

The Blues boss was a keen observer as Lyon faced his former club Ajax Amsterdam in the Europa League semi-finals last season – where the Dutch side emerged victorious - while several of Les Gones’ squad have plied their trade in the Eredivisie.

“I know Lyon very well,” he added. “I saw both matches they had against Ajax last season in the Europa League. They have some players and some who have played in Holland, like Marcelo who was at PSV Eindhoven.

“They play really offensive football, which I like. They have some high quality players like Bertrand Traore, Nabil Fekir and Memphis Depay. They had a good game against Monaco in their last game, winning in the last minute.

“We know they are strong, and it will be a tough game for us tomorrow.”

Tickets are still available for the Blues’ Europa League clash with French giants Lyon at Goodison on Thursday (8.05pm kick-off), priced at £20 for adults, £10 concessions and £5 for under-11s. Click here to book your seat.


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