October 1, 2017 / 4:45 PM / 10 months ago

Everton's Koeman defends players, shrugs off speculation

LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - Everton manager Ronald Koeman shrugged off questions over his future and defended his players commitment despite his team suffering a 1-0 home defeat by Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Everton vs Burnley - Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain - October 1, 2017 Everton manager Ronald Koeman Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

Everton, who have just two wins from their opening seven league games and are down in 16th place in the table, struggled to find any real fluency but the Dutchman said their attitude could not be questioned.

“I can’t complain from my players today. They did everything. There are situations in our ball possession that maybe we can create more but it is not so easy against Burnley,” said Koeman.

“They are a defensive minded team but well organised, physical. You need to be lucky in second balls, maybe everything. The commitment and spirit of the players was really positive.

“I am disappointed about the result. Not disappointed about the commitment and belief of the players because I think it was totally different. These circumstances you need to score a goal.”

The response from the crowd at the end of the game however, with boos ringing out across Goodison Park, suggested that not everyone shared the manager’s generous assessment of the performance.

After a close-season in which the club invested almost 140 million pounds ($187.5 million) and brought back Wayne Rooney to his boyhood team from Manchester United, more was expected and some are already questioning whether Koeman is the right man to lead Everton forward.

But the former Barcelona player, who had a spell as manager of Southampton before moving to Merseyside, said he was unconcerned about speculation.

“I have experience and I know if you win your life on a daily basis it is different from if you lose.

“It is not nice to get two weeks an international break if you lose. We will continue and I will try to do my best for the job. All the stuff and the questions is not in my hands,” he said.

Reporting by Simon Evans

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