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Monday 24 April 2017

Koeman praises home fortress

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has praised his side’s home form this season
Everton manager Ronald Koeman has praised his side’s home form this season

Everton manager Ronald Koeman believes his side have restored Goodison Park's fear factor.

The Toffees have won seven successive Premier League matches at home and the Merseyside derby defeat in December is their only league loss on their own ground in the last 13 months.

Everton have scored 26 goals and conceded just five in their current home run and Koeman believes Saturday's visitors Burnley - who have yet to win away from home - and remaining opponents Watford and Chelsea have every right to be wary.

"Most teams are stronger at home than they are away - that is normal in football - but the team is really confident at home now," Koeman said.

"It is also the case that our opponents maybe have more doubts coming to Goodison Park."

Their home form has kept Everton in a position to be able to improve on their current seventh place between now and the end of the season, although making the top four is unrealistic.

"We will try (to finish higher) and it starts by ourselves," he added.

"If we keep winning and keep the momentum then it is possible because, while Chelsea and Tottenham are maybe the strongest teams at the moment, the rest have difficulties.

"We have to win our own games, that is the only important thing for us."

Koeman and captain Phil Jagielka have visited Seamus Coleman at home in Donegal.

The full-back had surgery two and a half weeks ago on the horrific double leg break he suffered on international duty with Ireland against Wales.

Koeman said: "We made the visit to show our support for Seamus, the support of his team-mates and the support he has from all Evertonians. Every player in these circumstances needs this level of support to recover well.

"Seamus is positive and he is feeling strong. He is really grateful for all of the messages he has received from Everton fans and from people all over the world."

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