Despite their own struggles, Everton easily disposed of a poor Sunderland side 3-0 last night at Goodison Park, to progress to the last sixteen of the Carabao Cup. A brace from Dominic Calvert-Lewin as well as one from back-in-the-fold striker Oumar Niasse took care of the Wearside club.
After the game, manager Ronald Koeman spoke to the media -
“Everybody knows we are in a difficult moment and scoring goals and winning games is the best medicine to get our full confidence back,” said the Toffees boss. “Let’s hope the result tonight and the way that we played gives us a boost for Saturday.
“It’s normal at 2-0 with 20 minutes to go that you play with full confidence but when you start the game or when it’s a difficult game then still you need to show that.
“We scored three goals and maybe we had some other good chances to score even more. We fought for a good result and I’m happy about the performance.
“Of course you look at the individual performances of the players but first is the team, and I think everybody worked hard and the final result was good. The second half was better, we played at a higher tempo and we created more chances than in the first half.
“Overall, it was positive, everybody tried to impress and to play and now we will pick the best team to play on Saturday.”
Calvert-Lewin was the undoubted star of the match, and Koeman was asked if he would play again over the weekend.
“He’s always in my mind. He’s still a young player, 20, and sometimes you need to protect him.
“But he’s a good player and [in the future] he will be stronger, he will be faster, he will be better. He scored a great first goal, because that’s a really important goal, and the second was a good finish as well and killed the game at that time.
“He’s working, he’s doing well and he’s a good boy, but we have other players in that position as well.”
Striker Niasse took no time to open his account, taking his chance with aplomb.
“It was a great goal. His first touch on his chest and his finish with his right foot was great. It was a perfect goal.
“Everybody knows it was a difficult situation for him and it’s all about taking your chance when you get an opportunity and he showed tonight that he’s part of the team. Finally, you pick the player up and you put the players in the team who deserve it and who give that confidence to the team maybe in a difficult time or difficult moment.
“Maybe he doesn’t feel that pressure and that makes him even more dangerous for opponents.”
The Toffees have another three games at home and have a real chance to put aside their poor start to the season.
“Let’s hope tonight we start to win at home. We have three games to go and if we win them all the whole situation will be different and I will go into the international break with a smile on my face.”