Ronald Koeman looking forward to a tough Stoke City test

Comments from Ronald Koeman’s pre-match press conference ahead of Everton taking on Stoke City.

Ronald Koeman looking forward to a tough Stoke City test
Photo: Twitter (@Everton)

Since taking over at Goodison Park, Ronald Koeman has been nothing but brutally honest about his Everton squad. Koeman demands perfection and he won’t accept anything less, so it’s clear to see why he wants to overhaul this Everton team. 

Koeman has already been honest about the state of his squad's fitness levels and immediately set about changing that with two training sessions a day, including an added session on Sunday. 

After two Premier League games in charge, Koeman has four points and is aiming to overcome a difficult task against Stoke City.

Speaking to the assembled media at Finch Farm, Koeman said that the win against West Bromwich Albion gave his squad “confidence” but Stoke City will be “difficult and we have to be prepared.” 

Koeman on Romelu Lukaku

Everton fans were prepared for Romelu Lukaku to exit Goodison Park this summer after his comments before the European Championships, but Koeman has reportedly been able to change his mind, for now. 

After a disappointing performance for Belgium in the Euro’s, Lukaku is still trying to get back up to speed with his Everton teammates but Koeman isn’t worried. He said: “He (Lukaku)is still not 100% at his physical level.”

Unless they bring in another striker to support Lukaku, it’s once again going to be up to the Belgian to get the majority of the goals for the Blues but he’s struggled so far.

Once again, Koeman is backing his striker. He said: "I am not worried about Romelu scoring goals.

Romelu Lukaku in action against West Brom last Saturday. Photo: Sky Sports 

Koeman on Hart interest

Earlier this summer, the Dutchman stated that he’d like to have three first team goalkeepers available to him. Joel Robles was the only goalkeeper at Everton until Koeman brought in Maarten Stekelenburg, who has made an impressive start to life at Goodison Park.

Everton have been linked with a number of goalkeepers, including Asmir Begovic, Timo Horn and now Joe Hart. The Blues are still betting favourites to sign the England number one but Koeman played down interest in Hart. 

When asked about having any interest in the Manchester City keeper, Koeman said: “There is no interest.” He wouldn’t even change his stance when he was asked again later in the press conference. 

Hart is set to leave Manchester City and it could be a case of Koeman not revealing his plans but it remains to be seen what will happen with the transfer deadline less than a week away.

Could Joe Hart still be set to join Everton before the transfer deadline? Photo: Sky Sports 

Injury report

Everton are set to be without Seamus Coleman once again as he battles an ankle injury suffered in pre-season. The impressive Mason Holgate is set to deputise in Coleman’s place and he won’t let go of that position easily.

Darron Gibson played a part in the win over Yeovil City in midweek as he looks to regain fitness and show he can be a member of Ronald Koeman’s squad this season. 

Tom Cleverley and James McCarthy may also struggle to make Saturday’s game after suffering knocks during the week.