Ronald Koeman: Everton improvement is impossible in Premier League this year

Ronald Koeman: Everton improvement is impossible in Premier League this year

Ronald Koeman: Everton improvement is impossible in Premier League this year

Rooney's goal was the only moment of note in a tiresome opening period.

Koeman clearly no longer considers returning star Wayne Rooney as an out and out striker and, rather, the Dutchman is looking for a collective effort to replace Lukaku's prodigious output.

Leighton Baines of Everton congratulated by his team mates after scoring the winning goal during the UEFA Europa League Third Qualifying Round, First Leg match between Everton and MFK Ruzomberok at Goodison Park on July 27, 2017 in Liverpool, England.

"Saturday will be a hard game".

That's why we signed Wayne, expecting to show his team-mates all that experience and it was really important.

McCarthy, who has been linked with a move away from Everton, sat out the final pre-season friendly against Sevilla on Sunday with Koeman insisting the former Wigan player wasn't fit.

"We need to find other ways and we need to find productivity from other players".

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Morgan Schneiderlin, Idrissa Gueye and Leighton Baines are joined in the middle of the park by Davy Klaassen on his debut, while Jordan Pickford also gets his first run-out between the sticks.

"We still have three players out on long-term injuries in Seamus Coleman, Yannick Bolasie and Ramiro Funes Mori, but they are doing well", Koeman told the club's official website.

"Last season I think we won 1-0, the same result, and it was maybe a little bit the same".

Veteran midfielder Darren Fletcher soon fizzed a reminder of Stoke's threat past the post although moments of promise were far too fleeting for the visitors.

"We know at home that we have that fantastic support and hopefully we can get a good win this Saturday".

"When I came here of course it was a different situation", said Koeman.

"He was always going to be part of the story today".

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