LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - Everton manager Ronald Koeman believes he can turn around the struggling club’s fortunes but admits his future is no longer in his hands.
A 5-2 loss at home to Arsenal on Sunday saw Everton slip into the bottom three in the Premier League and the Dutchman’s job now hangs in the balance.
“I don’t know, I told the players I believe in them, in their commitment. The decision is not in my hands,” Koeman said after the game when asked if it had been the sort of result that could cost him his job.
“We are not in a position in the table that is good for Everton, I understand (but) I have been in football a long time, don’t tell me what can happen. I don’t think it’s too late.”
Asked whether he felt he could still turn around Everton’s season, he added: ”If you start to think negative then maybe there is no solution. I am not like that.
“I still believe I can change the whole situation but everybody knows how it works in football. That is all I answer about this situation.”
Koeman struck a tone somewhere between quiet resignation to his fate and a lingering determination to find a way out of the team’s rut which has seen them pick up just two wins from their opening nine games.
“Write what you like to write,” he told reporters.
Everton defender Michael Keane said the players were strongly behind Koeman and were disappointed not to have delivered better results and performances for him.
“It’s down to us, the manager can only do so much. We have 100 percent belief in him. We feel like we’ve let him down. We’re working really hard to sort it out,” he said.
But centre-half Keane, one of a series of big money signings prior to this campaign, conceded the team’s confidence has been hit by their poor campaign.
“I think so. Normally everyone would want to get on the ball and show what they can do. Maybe you’re not seeing that now. It was a difficult day,” he added.
After taking the lead through a fine Wayne Rooney strike, Everton were largely outplayed and went 2-1 down before Idrissa Gueye was sent off in the 68th minute and the Gunners took full advantage of the extra man.
“The sending off of Gana made it really difficult. It was already difficult against 11 and it was impossible at 10 against 11,” said Koeman.
Reporting by Simon Evans; editing by Ian Chadband