Everton host Liverpool on Monday night in manager Ronald Koeman’s first Merseyside Derby. In his pre-match comments ahead of the iconic game, the Dutchman spoke about the importance of the fixture and his previous experiences as a player and a manager.
“These games between Everton and Liverpool are always about the derby mentality and the passion of the fans.
“We know it’s important to win the game to make the fans happy and proud of the team and it’s really nice to be part of this derby.
“I have played in several derbies in Holland but maybe the most emotional one was between Barcelona and Real Madrid, so I understand.
“From what I have heard this derby is really, really one to look forward to.”
Monday will be the Toffees 227th derby game, and he insists the players will be ready.
“You don’t need extra motivation to play in these types of games.
“Everybody is taking about it. If you go walking through Liverpool, the fans are talking about the game already.
“It makes it easy to motivate the players. Then it is case of asking tactical questions of them and controlling emotions because that is always a big part of the game.
“You don’t want to make stupid fouls or reactions and you want to keep all 11 players on the pitch.
“I am looking forward to Monday night and hopefully it will be another positive one for us.”