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Koeman: Fair result under tough weather conditions

Manager’s comments after 0-0 stalemate at the Riverside

Middlesbrough v Everton - Premier League
A very wet Ronald Koeman
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Everton drew 0-0 at Middlesbrough in a game that both sides had chances to win, but Joel Robles and Victor Valdes held firm on either end. After the game Ronald Koeman was disappointed about the missed chances, but took a more philosophical approach.

Speaking about star striker Romelu Lukaku who was foiled by Valdes when through one-on-one with the goalie -

“Rom will always get his chance. He had a big one but Valdes did a great job. He made two or three very important saves in the game to keep a clean sheet for his side.

“You don’t score 100 goals from 100 chances. Maybe it was better for Rom to score one less last week and have one here instead!

“He was working hard, he had his chance but the goalkeeper did well. Ademola also had a couple of chances as well and it was a pity not to score.”

The hosts came close too, with Rudy Gestede testing Joel Robles with just minutes to go, while Gibson had his header from a corner cleared off the line by Leighton Baines. In the persistent driving rain, Koeman said the final score reflected the game played.

“It was a fair result. The weather conditions were tough. We know that it is difficult to create lots of chances against Middlesbrough and they showed today that they have really strong defensive organisation.

“We were the better team in the first half but Boro were the more dangerous team in the second. In the second half I think we controlled the possession a little too much instead of trying to do more to score a goal.

“But it is a clean sheet, a point and that is not bad. It is our fourth clean sheet from the last six games and that is positive.”

Koeman shed some light on why James McCarthy and Kevin Mirallas didn’t make the matchday squad.

“They weren’t fit enough today. James was struggling after last weekend and, with his history this season, we didn’t take any risks. He will be available in two weeks [against Sunderland].

“It’s the same for Kevin who was struggling with his groin. We want to make sure he is 100 per cent for the next game.”