Koe­man ad­mits Ever­ton on the slide

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

RON­ALD KOE­MAN (car­i­ca­ture) ad­mit­ted his grow­ing con­cern at Ever­ton’s de­cline in form af­ter his side slumped to de­feat at the man­ager’s for­mer club Southamp­ton. Char­lie Austin’s goal, scored af­ter just 41 sec­onds, se­cured Saints’ vic­tory, leav­ing Koe­man’s Ever­ton with just one win in their last eight Premier League games. The prom­ise of the open­ing weeks of the sea­son has quickly dis­ap­peared at Good­i­son Park and Koe­man ad­mit­ted he was left frus­trated at his side’s dis­play. The open­ing sec­onds of the game high­lighted a lack of or­gan­i­sa­tion at the back and while the Merseysiders im­proved in the sec­ond pe­riod, they did not muster and at­tempt on tar­get un­til added time. Koe­man said: “I’m not wor­ried about re­sults, wor­ried about what I see on the pitch, how we start game, have dif­fi­cul­ties to be or­gan­ised de­fen­sively and stop the op­po­nents. “I’m wor­ried be­cause the wake up call, how we played in first half, and again to­day, and to con­cede goal af­ter one minute – not what can hap­pen.” Koe­man con­ceded his for­wards must do bet­ter and ad­mit­ted he ex­pected more from Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku. “Both could have done bet­ter, like ev­ery­body else,” said the man­ager. He added: “What can you say af­ter you have the kick-off and af­ter 2 or 3 passes we lost the ball and we ended 1-0. You start game to con­trol the game and we didn’t. We had bad de­fend­ing for the cross and it makes it a very dif­fi­cult game.

“But the whole first half wasn’t good. The po­si­tions in the mid­field, we had some prob­lems with the strik­ers. We need more com­mu­ni­ca­tion, we need to re­act faster.

“They had some good chances in the first half but so did we. We played bet­ter in the sec­ond half but we had to take risks.”

Koe­man was given a frosty re­cep­tion af­ter re­turn­ing to the club he walked away from at the end of last sea­son.

And hav­ing crit­i­cised the lat­est crop of young­sters in the Southamp­ton acad­emy last Jan­uary, he looked on as 19-year-old winger Josh Sims made an im­pres­sive de­but for Saints.

Koe­man said: “I wasn’t aware of Josh Sims when I was here and he is not my prob­lem – I work for Ever­ton, not Southamp­ton.”

Sims had been pro­moted af­ter im­press­ing for Southamp­ton’s un­der-23 side and Southamp­ton man­ager Claude Puel said: “Josh Sims – for his first Premier League game, I guess it’s okay!

“I am happy for him and the team. He showed very good progress with the Un­der 23’s and thought it would be a good op­por­tu­nity for him.

“I think it’s im­por­tant to re­spect the acad­emy here and when we have prob­lems with in­juries it’s fan­tas­tic to be able to start play­ers from the acad­emy.

“It was a very good per­for­mance for us be­cause we had a lot of in­jury prob­lems be­fore the match. To­day’s per­for­mance was good for con­fi­dence af­ter a loss at Sparta Prague ear­lier this week.” – AFP

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