Ready for Europa

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LON­DON: Ever­ton will be ready to com­pete in the Europa League next sea­son de­spite the de­mands placed on the club by ad­di­tional fix­tures af­ter they sealed a sev­enth-placed Premier League fin­ish, man­ager Ron­ald Koe­man has said.

Ever­ton will play 41 games across three do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tions this sea­son but can ex­pect a much busier fix­ture list next year when the Euro­pean ties are added to the sched­ule.

Koe­man said that his play­ers would be in bet­ter shape than at the be­gin­ning of this cam­paign, where eight play­ers sus­tained in­juries in Au­gust and Septem­ber, as they had be­come ac­cus­tomed to the man­ager’s train­ing rou­tine.

“The dif­fer­ence is that the team will be bet­ter fit­ness-wise than it was at the start of this sea­son,” Koe­man told the club’s web­site (www.ev­er­tonfc.com).

“The play­ers also know the man­ager, they know the way we like to train, and the in­ten­sity we like to put into our train­ing ses­sions, and that’s dif­fer­ent than it was last sea­son.

“I also know the play­ers bet­ter than I knew them last year so there are lots of dif­fer­ences in a pos­i­tive way.”

Koe­man also said that plan­ning for next sea­son had be­gun ear­lier this year as the club looked to ac­com­mo­date all their play­ers’ sched­ules.

“We planned things two months ago to start on July 3. The play­ers need a hol­i­day (once this sea­son fin­ishes) and some may still be on in­ter­na­tional duty up to June 13,” Koe­man said.

“I be­lieve the play­ers need at least three weeks’ hol­i­day and maybe I will de­cide that some play­ers could even come back later than July 3.”

Ever­ton played Wat­ford late yes­ter­day be­fore end­ing the sea­son at Arse­nal on May 21. Reuters

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