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Koeman: In difficult times we need to be strong

Manager calls for hard work in his pre-match press conference

Manchester City v Everton - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has called for a better work ethic from the players to turn around the current slump. The Blues have only picked up one win in their last eight Premier League games, and face Manchester United at Goodison Park on Sunday.

“First of all you need to work hard and that’s the best way to turn things around.

“We know we play on Sunday at home in a big game against a big club. Still we are in a good position in the table and, if somebody had said to me at the beginning of the season that Everton at the beginning of December will be seventh and if they beat Manchester United we will go sixth, I would be happy.

“Of course, I realise we need a win, I realise some away performances have not been good. But we’re still unbeaten at home and that’s also positive.

“You need to be realistic and, of course, it’s a difficult time because one out of eight is a long time and we have not been winning enough.

“But it’s football, you need to accept it and you need to work hard. That’s always the first message that we need to give and [we need] the commitment of every player to turn around what has happened in the last few weeks.”

He felt there was definitely room for improvement.

“We need to show more than we have shown in the last few weeks but always in every season you have a difficult time and in a difficult time you really understand what you need as a team. Now we need to be strong and now we need personality in the team.

“Maybe in the schedule of the season it’s a fantastic game to play this Sunday because it’s a big game and we can really change a lot of things.”