Everton manager Ronald Koeman hopes to mirror Mauricio Pochettino's achievements

04 March 2017 01:08

Ronald Koeman hopes he can achieve something similar at Everton to Mauricio Pochettino's success with Tottenham.

The Toffees head to White Hart Lane on Sunday looking to continue a nine-match unbeaten run in the Premier League.

Koeman, who succeeded Pochettino at former club Southampton, said: "The manager at Tottenham is doing a great job because everybody understands it's really difficult to give that competition to the big teams in the Premier League and now for the second season in the row they fight for the Champions League.

"Last season they fought until the last part of the season to win the title and they signed long-term contracts with good players, with young players.

"In several aspects they play football what we like to do in our team. They try to do high pressing, we like to do high pressing, they have individually very good players between the lines and offensive full-backs, and trying to bring young players into the team.

"Yes it's a little bit similar what we like to do. It's not our second or third season, it's our first, but we are in a good way to move forwards and to change things and to make sometimes difficult decisions."

After narrowly missing out to Leicester for the league title last season, Spurs are currently the closest challengers to Chelsea - albeit 10 points adrift of Antonio Conte's side.

With exciting young English talent like Dele Alli and Harry Kane in the side, it would be a surprise if Pochettino's team did not maintain their challenge in future seasons.

Koeman said: "They are o ne of the favourites for titles, yes. They are still in the FA Cup and they are second in the league and they are really strong.

"It's not any more that Tottenham will fight against the big ones, that process they haven't finished but they are as strong as the rest of the big teams in the Premier League."

Everton have reason to be confident having emerged as the best of the rest behind the top six, and Goodison Park is in buoyant mood after a run of 21 points from a possible 27.

Having also held Spurs to a draw at home on the opening day of the season, Koeman sees every reason to be positive.

He said: "They're really strong at home but it's a challenge to be yourself and get a good result. We got one point out of the (home) game and Everton is stronger than Everton was in the first game. I think also Tottenham is stronger."

Koeman has a nearly fully-fit squad to choose from, with midfield a particular area of strength.

Veteran Gareth Barry has only started one of the last four games, but Koeman was quick to praise the 36-year-old.

"We know we have really big competition in the midfield but he's a very available player for the team," said the Toffees boss.

"Every day he's an example for young players. Even if he is not starting in the team he's doing his session in the best way that he can, he's not frustrated - maybe a little bit disappointed not to start but, with his experience, he's really a coach on the pitch.

"With that competition, and we know he's not the youngest in the team, but he's still at a really good level of fitness and he's always in my mind to start."

Source: PA


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