Ronald Koeman has admitted that Everton's Thursday night Europa League game against Lyon is ‘must-win’ after his side’s dreadful start to the group stage.
The Blues currently sit bottom of Group E without a win in their first two games, losing away at Atalanta and drawing at home with Apollon Limassol.
They now face arguably the toughest team in the group in Lyon.
Speaking ahead of Thursday’s game, Koeman said: “We know the situation in the group that we need a win. We expected a win last time but we were unlucky they scored in the last minute.
“Normally you need three wins at home and you pick something out of the away games.”
Koeman added: “We need a win tomorrow.”
Battling on a number of fronts
Whilst this season’s Europa League campaign might be about to run it’s course, Everton will have to turn their focus to a more domestic base and compete on a number of fronts, including the Premier League, Carabao Cup and the FA Cup.
Koeman said: “We want is to do well in them all (competitions). It starts tomorrow and that is our focus. After tomorrow we have to prepare for Sunday.”
The Everton boss continued: “We know it’s a tough start to the season but I think it’s all about tomorrow first.
“If we have a good game and finally have a good result then preparation for Sunday will be easier.”
The Blues have a chance to build plenty of momentum in the next eight days with games against Olympique Lyonnais and Arsenal in the Premier League at Goodison Park on Sunday before facing Chelsea next Wednesday in the Carabao Cup.
Whilst they may be three difficult games, it’s a perfect chance for the Dutch boss and his squad to test themselves against top-level teams. With two of those games also coming in front of their own fans, the Blues can be sure of raucous support if they perform to the standards that are expected of them.
Everton are still without long-term absentees; Ross Barkley, Yannick Bolasie, Seamus Coleman and Ramiro Funes-Mori and whilst James McCarthy played 45 minutes with the under-23 squad, he won’t feature against Lyon.
The Republic of Ireland international could possibly be back in Koeman’s squad for Sunday’s visit of Arsenal.
Jonjoe Kenny suffered a knock whilst on duty with England during the international break and is a doubt for Thursday as he only returned to first-team training on Wednesday.