Everton v Southampton: Koeman warns former players, this will be tougher
Premier League: Goodison Park, Today, 3.00pm
Ronald Koeman has warned former club Southampton that Everton will be a different proposition when the two sides clash this evening.
Koeman quit Southampton to take charge at Goodison Park in the summer and Everton marked his first return to St Mary's with a poor display in a 1-0 defeat at the end of November.
Southampton never looked back after scoring the only goal inside the first minute through Charlie Austin, but Koeman -who steered the Saints to seventh and sixth during his time there - insisted he is not gunning for revenge.
"Of course it's always special. I was manager at Southampton for two seasons in a row.
"But we (Everton) had a really poor game there. Maybe it was one of the worst of the season, the whole team performance.
"You know if you go behind in just one minute it's always difficult because they play with a lot of organisation.
"But this game will be totally different."
Everton's impressive start to the league campaign under Koeman - four wins and a draw -faltered towards the end of September.
The Toffees mustered only one win from their next 10 matches before arresting their slide with victory over Arsenal at Goodison in early December.
Koeman, though, feels the turning point for his players came in the previous game, which ended in a 3-2 defeat at Watford.
"I think we had a difficult time," he said. "The start of the season was really positive, then we had a difficult run.
"But the team is different. After the big disappointment when we lost at Watford, the attitude of the team is different.
"We play with more aggression and that started against Arsenal. That's the way we'd like to continue."
Ross Barkley's late header salvaged a 2-2 draw at Hull on Friday when both sides carved out a host of chances.
"We know we need to improve our ball possession and this is what I was really pleased about (at Hull)," Koeman added.
"Our ball possession was good, we created a lot of good opportunities to score and that's how I like to play."
Goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenberg is likely to miss a third successive game because of a dead leg.
Jose Fonte will return for Southampton, taking the place of the suspended Virgil van Dijk.