Everton vs Leicester City - Koeman promises to take FA Cup 'very seriously'



Posted Saturday, January 07, 2017 by PA

Everton boss Ronald Koeman has vowed the Toffees will "go for it" in this season's FA Cup.

The Merseyside outfit, who reached the semi-finals of the competition last term, have not won a trophy since lifting the FA Cup in 1995.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's third-round home clash with Leicester, Koeman said he would name a strong side for the tie, and added: "This competition is a title and if you ask every manager, they like to win titles.

"We know it is difficult, but we take it very seriously.

"We will go for it. We fight for everything this Saturday."

On Wednesday at Everton's general meeting, chairman Bill Kenwright spoke of his desire for the club to get their hands on some silverware again, while major shareholder Farhad Moshiri outlined his ambitions.

Moshiri, who acquired a 49.9 per cent stake of Everton in February 2016, stressed establishing them "amongst the elite" would take time but that it was something he was committed to.

And he said: "It is not enough to say 'we are special'.

"We don't want to be a museum. We need to be competitive and we need to win."

Koeman, appointed to his current job in June, emphasised his agreement with those comments when they were put to him at his press conference to preview the Leicester match.

Saturday's match will see Everton without Idrissa Gueye after the Senegal international headed off on African Nations Cup duty.

Fellow midfielder James McCarthy (hamstring) and goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg (dead leg) are not yet ready to make their returns to action, and forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin (ankle) has been ruled out for up to eight weeks.

Aaron Lennon is a doubt but Bryan Oviedo is fit again, while new signing Ademola Lookman is unable to make his debut in this game as he is cup-tied.

Alex McLeish has insisted Wilfred Ndidi needs time at Leicester but can eventually replace N'Golo Kante.

The former Scotland boss signed Ndidi for just B#70,000 while Genk manager two years ago and the 20-year-old joined the Foxes for B£15million on Thursday.

He is expected to fill the void left by Kante who joined Chelsea for B£32million in the summer having helped the club win a shock Premier League title last season.

Leicester have missed the midfielder since his Stamford Bridge switch and are 14th in the table having failed to recreate last season's form.

Ndidi became the Foxes' first signing of the transfer window and McLeish, who worked with him in 2014-15, expects him to flourish given time.

"Let's not say he's the new Kante but he has that potential," McLeish told Press Association Sport. "He can scuttle from one man to another and training would help him to do a similar role to Kante.

"Putting pressure on him and saying he's the new Kante immediately would be a big ask. (Claudio) Ranieri is a wise old owl, he has great experience and he will definitely know the way to handle the kid.

"I'm not saying he's the finished article. The Premier League is brutal and will be a test for him, if things are not going for him how will he handle it mentally? These are things that are yet to be learned."

Ndidi could make his Leicester debut against Everton and ex-Aston Villa and Birmingham chief McLeish knows he must justify the fee having seen his value skyrocket.

"The Belgian league is not as strong as the Premier League but they are taking on a kid I signed for 100,000 euros for B£15million so they must think a lot of him," he said.

"He was the only signing I made at Genk in the season I was there, I worked with the board closely and we agreed we wouldn't bring in anyone until we sold. But the recruitment scout alerted me to him, I watched some video, saw his speed and agility and said 'B#70,000, it's a no-brainer, sign him'.

"The market is bloated and let's face is, who is worth the money? Diego Costa cost B£30million and now you're thinking that's cheap. Now when you see signings for B£11million and B£12million your man on the street says he can't be any good. That's the level of the Premier League, they are paying top dollar."

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