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Baines says all the Everton players wanted Koeman

Player speaks about the new manager’s appointment

Leighton Baines takes a penalty
Leighton Baines takes a penalty
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Once the appointment of Ronald Koeman as manager of Everton was confirmed, veteran defender Leighton Baines spoke to the press about his feelings about the new gaffer.

In an interview with evertontv, Baines said -

“It’s what we’ve all been waiting for and anticipating. It’s been really well received and it’s the appointment everyone was hoping for.

“It’s an interesting summer for this football club and the appointment of a new manager means everyone can start to look forward to what’s to come.

“His [Koeman’s] reputation speaks for itself. As a player he was obviously top-drawer and he’s on that path now as a manager as well.

“He did a fantastic job - in what was a difficult job - at Southampton with the players they lost. He did incredible there and that’s why I think our Chairman and Mr Moshiri were so focused on making him the man.

“We are just delighted that he is in now and are all looking forward to working with him.”

Baines was at Finch Farm get in some early fitness training after a season marred by injury for the usually dependable player. He went on speak about the Premier League schedule that was recently released, with the Blues hosting Tottenham on the first day of the season -

“We’ve got an exciting opener at home against Spurs which will be a great test for us and something we will look forward to.

“We want to get off to a good start and those first few weeks will be really important in trying to do that.

“Then you naturally look for different games - the derbies. But the way the league is now, they are all tough games. It proved that last season in particular.

“Every game is a big game and we are looking forward to getting started.”

Koeman was well-heralded as a dead-ball specialist in his time, and Baines is looking forward to picking up some tips from the new manager.

“You can sort of picture them now… he was certainly able to generate a lot of power! I’m sure he will have a few pointers for us all.

“He instantly commands your respect on many levels. The thing for us as players is the excitement of getting to work with him and enjoying the training sessions.

“Everyone speaks really highly of him, so it’s great for us as players to have someone like him to work with.”