Belfast Telegraph

Everton boss Ronald Koeman promises to take FA Cup 'very seriously'

Everton boss Ronald Koeman has vowed the Toffees will "go for it" in this season's FA Cup.

The Merseyside outfit, who reached the semi-finals of the competition last term, have not won a trophy since lifting the FA Cup in 1995.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's third-round home clash with Leicester, Koeman said he would name a strong side for the tie, and added: "This competition is a title and if you ask every manager, they like to win titles.

"We know it is difficult, but we take it very seriously.

"We will go for it. We fight for everything this Saturday."

On Wednesday at Everton's general meeting, chairman Bill Kenwright spoke of his desire for the club to get their hands on some silverware again, while major shareholder Farhad Moshiri outlined his ambitions.

Moshiri, who acquired a 49.9 per cent stake of Everton in February 2016, stressed establishing them "amongst the elite" would take time but that it was something he was committed to.

And he said: "It is not enough to say 'we are special'.

"We don't want to be a museum. We need to be competitive and we need to win."

Koeman, appointed to his current job in June, emphasised his agreement with those comments when they were put to him at his press conference to preview the Leicester match.

And when he was asked about Everton's hopes to move to a new stadium - something else that had been on the agenda on Wednesday, with Bramley Moore Dock the apparent preferred site - the Dutchman said: "That's the reason why I signed a contract with Everton - it was about the project.

"We know we need time to change but a new stadium is very important for the club.

"That is how we like to grow - on the pitch but also off the pitch."

Everton on Friday announced their training ground is to be renamed USM Finch Farm as they enter a five-year partnership with Russian-based group USM Holdings this month.

Toffees chief executive Robert Elstone said: ''We've invested heavily into our training facilities over recent years and this deal means we can continue to provide top-class facilities, which we know plays an important role in attracting the best playing talent, from academy right through to the first team.''

Saturday's match will see Everton without Idrissa Gueye after the Senegal international headed off on African Nations Cup duty.

Fellow midfielder James McCarthy (hamstring) and goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg (dead leg) are not yet ready to make their returns to action, and forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin (ankle) has been ruled out for up to eight weeks.

Aaron Lennon is a doubt but Bryan Oviedo is fit again, while new signing Ademola Lookman is unable to make his debut in this game as he is cup-tied.

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