Everton manager Ronald Koeman is happy to see Everton upping it’s aggression level on the pitch, and wants to see results today against Southampton.
He termed the 1-0 loss at the Saints in late November as the Toffees’ worst performance of the season, and though he fell short of calling today’s game vengeance, it was clear he wanted a win to start off 2017 and no less.
“We know it’s a good team but away against Southampton was one of the worst performances of the team of this season.
“The team is different now.
“I think we showed, after a real disappointment against Watford, in how we played against Arsenal, how we played against Liverpool and in two away games since, that we can take a lot of positives from recent performances.”
He continued by recapping 2016 and talking about the year ahead.
“We're at halfway and have had a difficult time.
"The start of the season was really positive and then we had a difficult run.
“After the big disappointment when we lost at Watford away I think the attitude of the team is different. We play with more aggression and that started against Arsenal.
“That is how we'd like to continue. We know we'd like to improve in our ball position and that's what I was really pleased about against Hull, our ball position was good.
“We created a lot of good opportunities to score and that's the way I like to play.
“Of course we need some attacking improvement in the team but against Hull we showed a better offensive style of play.”
Koeman would still enjoy a win over his former employers though.
“It's not about revenge. Of course it's always special because for two seasons I was Southampton manager.
“We had a poor game at St Mary's. Maybe it was one of the worst of the season, the whole team performance.
“If you go 1-0 down after one minute it is always difficult because they play out of a good organisation but this game will be totally different.”
When asked about his starting eleven, Koeman insisted he would choose the fittest side available.
“It’s really nice but first we need to recover. We know it’s a tough game, a special one and let’s hope we see a good performance and three points.
“It’s a really tough period of games for everybody but we know you can’t play three games in seven or eight days with 11 players - you need to do some changes in the team.
“It’s all about the freshness of the players. The boys showed really good spirit against Hull and we will see now what is the best team to start against Southampton.”