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Koeman takes swipe at predecessor Martinez ahead of Merseyside derby

Date Posted,March 31, 2017

Ronald Koeman took a devastating sideswipe at his Everton predecessor, even as he was inspiring his troops for the Mersey derby.

The Blues boss suggested his team “were too afraid to play against Liverpool the last two seasons”, but have now discovered the passion and attitude to go toe to toe with their bitter rivals.

The straight-talking Dutchman takes his in-form troops to the Premier League frontline, with a passionate rallying cry that suggests the Blues can end the longest run of games without a league win at Anfield in their history.

And he couldn’t help but take a dig at previous boss Roberto Martinez, when he said: “I heard a little bit about the last two seasons of Everton maybe they were too afraid to play against Liverpool.

“It’s not being afraid exactly, but afraid to play in a certain way. You know they will press and be aggressive and maybe Everton were not prepared in the best way for that type of football.

Koeman is bidding for his first victory in a Merseyside derby (Photo: Everton FC via Getty Images)
Martinez was sacked as Blues boss last season (Photo: Getty Images Europe)

“But why you need to be afraid to play against Liverpool I don’t understand that. We showed (this season) at home how we need to play – with passion and attitude.”

Koeman is not shy in stating the obvious – that he has turned Everton around from the side that tried to outplay every opponent last season… and frequently got steam-rollered by sides with more desire.

They can not be accused of that any longer. Under the Dutch boss, they have lost only once at home – ironically to Liverpool in the final minute of the game – and become far more resilient on their travels.

And the tough-talking boss believes they are now a very different from Martinez’s too-soft sides…and equipped to win at Anfield for the first time in 18 years.

“The team is stronger and has a different mentality, more aggression and more of the intensity you need to play against Liverpool.

“This Everton team is a different team to last season. I hope that brings more confidence of knowing what you need to do to get a good result.

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