Koe­man takes blame for Ata­lanta 'les­son'

Observer on Saturday - - Sport -

LON­DON -Ever­ton Man­ager Ron­ald Koe­man has blamed him­self for his side's 3-0 ham­mer­ing by Ata­lanta, call­ing it a big les­son for the Pre­mier League side on their re­turn to Euro­pean foot­ball.

An­drea Masiello, Ale­jan­dro Gomez and Bryan Cris­tante struck at the Sta­dio Citta del Tri­col­ore on Thurs­day as Ever­ton, back in the Europa League af­ter three years, failed to re­spond.

Koe­man, who wanted his side to re­act strongly af­ter a 3-0 Pre­mier League loss to Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur over the week­end, said he would not blame his play­ers for their lat­est de­feat.

"It is a big les­son tonight," Koe­man told the club web­site (www.ev­er­tonfc.com) af­ter Thurs­day's loss.

"But it is not the time or the place to crit­i­cise the play­ers. I have to crit­i­cise my­self be­cause the team was not pre­pared for this tonight.

"I thought that was hap­pen­ing af­ter the third goal against Tot­ten­ham at the week­end but I need to ask my­self the ques­tion what I did wrong," he added.

Koe­man said he saw a big dif­fer­ence in the be­lief and con­fi­dence be­tween his side and Italy's Ata­lanta, who re­turned to Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion af­ter 26 years.

"They had ag­gres­sion and pas­sion. We made mis­takes, the pitch wasn’t the best, ei­ther, but it was the same for them.

Ata­lanta showed to us the pas­sion that you have to have when you play foot­ball," Koe­man said.

Ever­ton must re­group as they visit Pre­mier League lead­ers Manch­ester United in the league on Sun­day.

United have 10 points from four matches and have scored 12 goals this sea­son while Ever­ton are in the lower half of the table with four points.

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