English Premiership

Koeman's tough love benefiting Lukaku

2016-11-01 14:35
Romelu Lukaku (Getty Images)

Liverpool - Everton striker Romelu Lukaku has credited manager Ronald Koeman's clear and concise approach for helping him get off to a fast start this season and says it was the Dutchman's honesty that convinced him to stay at Goodison Park.

The 23-year-old has scored seven and assisted on three of Everton's 15 Premier League goals this season, equalling his best start to a league campaign after 10 games.

"He is really helping me a lot with a lot of clinical advice," Lukaku told British media.

"He was really clear in what he wanted to improve. Also the consistency. He has told me off only one time this season. He was clear in his idea, there is a real clarity about what he wants on the pitch. That helps me."

Lukaku, who was strongly linked with a return to former club Chelsea during the close season, said a call from, Koeman in the summer had convinced him he had an important role to play at the club.

"When the manager called me during the European Championship I told him how I felt," the Belgium international said.

"I was surprised how honest he was with me. He was honest in the way that he wanted to work and how he wanted the team to play. He saw me as an important figure and a big character.

"I told him I am not a guy that is going to cause any problems. I am a guy who has to be at 100% and that is what I am going to do. He knew it straight away."

Everton, who are sixth in the league, face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

The Toffees meanwhile can close the gap to the fourth placed Blues to one point when the sides face each other, with Everton coming off an impressive 2-0 home victory over West Ham United at Goodison Park.

Everton will come up against an in-form Chelsea side who have recorded four straight victories since coach, Antonio Conte switched to a three-man defence.

Kick off is at 19:30 (SA time).

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10 December 2016
Watford v Everton, Vicarage Road Stadium 14:30
Arsenal v Stoke City, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Hull City v Crystal Palace, Kingston Communications Stadium 17:00
Swansea City v Sunderland, Liberty Stadium 17:00
Burnley v AFC Bournemouth, Turf Moor 17:00
Leicester City v Manchester City, King Power Stadium 19:30
11 December 2016
Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion, Stamford Bridge 14:00
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur, Old Trafford 16:15
Southampton v Middlesbrough, St. Mary's Stadium 16:15
Liverpool v West Ham United, Anfield 18:30
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Everton v Arsenal, Goodison Park 21:45
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