Koeman Ambitious Ahead Of Hull
Manager Ronald Koeman has now held his pre game press conference ahead of the hosting of Hull City this weekend.
Covering a number of topics as he spoke to the gathered media and evertonfc.com, with further speculation this week linking him with a switch (again) to former club Barcelona, he obviously fielded questions on that topic, but he instead twisted it around the ambitions that Everton have as a club which match his own.
Insisting if Everton were 'not a club with ambition, he would not be the manager' and he's focused, like everybody with us, and determined to 'get the best and strongest team we can' moving forward.
'If Everton is not a Club with ambition, I would not be the manager. We want to show everybody that Everton is the one club outside of the big six to make that next step. I think everybody can see the difference between this season and last season, but it is impossible to do this in one transfer window or one season. It takes time. My message to everybody is every day Everton is trying to get the best and strongest team we can.'
With further questions, he went on to say.
'The most important thing is for good players who can make the team stronger to see ambition in the development of the team and the Club. We are talking about a new stadium and that is enough to show that Everton is going in the right direction.'
With Ross Barkley receiving the England call from Gareth Southgate, Koeman also said it was a just reward for the Academy graduate given his improvement and form of late.
'Ross really deserves it because in the last few months he`s been improving in his performances. Of course, the position where he is playing out wide is a little bit different to what it was before but it`s more important for the team to get him closer to our front players, to get him closer to the opposition box and his productivity in assists and goals is better. It shows that if you play on that high level then you will get a call from the national team and that is good because it`s important for his confidence and that will give him a real boost for this Saturday.'
'It`s always the best to be a part of your national team. Every player likes to play for the national team and you are proud to play for your country. First, he needs to focus on Saturday and then he can think about the national team.'
In terms of team news, Koeman also confirmed that Leighton Baines had now overcome his back problem and should come back into contention for the game on Saturday.
'Leighton trained this morning (yesterday). Normally he would be available for the weekend. We have still have the same players out.'
James McCarthy has suffered a recurrence of his hamstring injury, and Yannick Bolasie and Muhamed Besic remain unavailable.
'James is progressing. Okay, we know the FIFA rule that they (Republic of Ireland) can call up James. They will do their fitness tests. We will see, we can`t do anything about that.'