Belfast Telegraph

No crisis of confidence for Everton boss Ronald Koeman

Everton boss Ronald Koeman has emphasised the club's recent troubles have not shaken his confidence in himself as a manager.

The Toffees have won only two of their last nine games in all competitions.

And after Thursday's 2-2 Europa League draw with Cypriot outfit Apollon Limassol at Goodison Park, Koeman claimed his players had been "scared" and "afraid" in the way they had performed.

The Dutchman on Friday suggested that fear came from "the pressure to win" and admitted he is worried about the situation.

But he also stressed his faith in his ability to get things right has not diminished.

Speaking ahead of Sunday's Premier League home clash with Burnley, Koeman said: "I am too long in this job to lose my confidence.

"Yes, I am worried about the situation and how we can turn it around, but I have enough confidence to be the same manager I was for the last six or seven years, when I was successful."

Everton departed the field on Thursday with boos ringing out around the stadium, and Koeman said on Friday he respects the fans' views - while also expressing his belief that the club's predicament is "not so negative and black as everybody is thinking".

Including Europa League qualifying games, the Merseyside club have played 13 times this season and lost on four occasions: 2-0 at Chelsea, 3-0 at home to Tottenham, 3-0 away against Atalanta and 4-0 at Manchester United.

Koeman, whose side are 14th in the Premier League, said: "I respect every opinion of an Everton fan.

"It's easy to support a team when they are winning, it's more difficult (when they are not), but that's in every club and the fans are allowed to react and be frustrated. I was also frustrated yesterday. That is normal.

"We showed clips to the players and spoke about how it's possible we have so many ball mistakes.

"But it's not so negative and black as everybody is thinking.

"Everybody understands the difficult situation. I don't have any problem with the attitude of the players.

"As you know if you've played football, you have difficult times, moments when you are struggling and your confidence drops."

When then asked where he thought the players' fear came from, Koeman said: "I don't know, maybe the pressure to win the game.

"We try to analyse everything. But we are human people.

"It was possible to expect this situation when we knew all the fixtures in the beginning.

"You can see it as really negative, our position in the Premier League, but you can lose against Chelsea, Tottenham and Man United, and we played 10 more games and we lost one of 10.

"It's not all so negative."

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