Date: 11th July 2017 at 7:49am
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Sounds odd to say you ‘have to like pressure’ doesn’t it? However, Ronald Koeman knows he’ll be under this at Everton this season, which he accepts and is happy. In fact he welcomes it.

With expectation comes added pressure and as much as the boss will be under this to deliver a top-four finish – Koeman thinks it’s still too early to think about the Blues achieving this – he will embrace this as the Toffees chase trophies and wants players that can handle this too.

Koeman was quoted by the BBC: ‘It’s still too soon to talk about top four but we need to continue what we did last season and every club is trying to get good players. If you want to win trophies, you have to like pressure. We have to get the type of players in who are used to that pressure.’

He turned to Wayne Rooney as the forward told him he too ‘likes the pressure.’

‘When Wayne and I spoke it was about ambition. He showed me in that meeting that he likes the pressure. We will have more pressure this season than last. Some players need pressure to get the most out of themselves. The qualities and ambition he showed me meant it was enough for me.’

Rooney has returned to Goodison Park to play in an attacking position and NOT in midfield – Koeman made that perfectly clear too.

The confirmed departure of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United on Monday means Everton have lost a 25 goal forward.

However, the Dutchman went on to highlight those ‘more productivity’ thoughts again, first shared last season.

Koeman said he would rather have several players scoring 10 goals than one getting 25, which does make sense. Rooney and the other attacking arrivals will increase that productivity for the Blues boss.

He said: ‘We had a great striker like Romelu scoring 25 goals last season, but we needed more players with more productivity. It’s what we need to improve. I’d rather have several players scoring 10 goals. Wayne can bring that to the team.

Adding: ‘The experience of Wayne is really important to bring over to the rest of the players. He is an example for the younger players. I think we have missed a player like Wayne to have that experience in the team. So far we are doing good business and you will see in the next weeks, maybe we will do more.’

One player Koeman wouldn’t be drawn on was Ross Barkley.

Still at Goodison, yet failing to agree a new contract and/or secure a move elsewhere, Koeman preferred to talk about the return of Rooney and his intentions of improving on last season’s seventh-place finish during the new conference to unveil the former England captain.

Rooney, left out of the last couple of squads named by Gareth Southgate, himself said he ‘was not focused on England’ but was hoping ‘the performances are good for Everton and they won’t be able to ignore me.’

A return to Everton was again spoken about and how Rooney’s done this to win things and his desire to ‘prove a point’ upon his return to Merseyside was no stronger than it had ever been – this has always been the way he plays.

‘I think I always play like I’ve got a point to prove. I’m ready to play and want to win. I am excited and I’m looking at a challenge. I think it’s the right time in my career and I’m ready for it. It’s all right saying we are here to win trophies, and of course we want to. But it’s on us as a football club to do that. That’s why we have to make sure we do that.’

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