Emre Can issues warning to Man United: Liverpool are back

"Of course we like to sign and make the team stronger, but everybody is always talking about the academy of Everton".

Koeman, speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Tuesday's trip to Manchester United, also admitted Premier League top-scorer Lukaku under-performed against Liverpool, describing him as having been "not really sharp and a little bit tired". "He's a human boy, it's not always a 10, that's football and if you don't play football, maybe you don't understand it".

"In December, January and February was not our best football but now we are back, we did it in the last couple of games". It's a whole season, not one game.

"I try to be realistic about the situation of the team, its progress, and the project of Everton".

"What I don't like is too much [being said] individually about the performances of the players".

Koeman afforded himself a wry smile when he was asked to divulge stories about what the young striker was like - a passage in his autobiography, I am Zlatan, tells how he was sent home from training by the Dutchman for a showing a bad attitude - but the pair remain good friends.

"Ross played in a different position than he has played in the last few weeks", said Koeman. I spoke to Romelu, he was not really sharp, he was a little bit exhausted (after global duty). That's not to defend my team, no, it's because I am a manager who sees football realistically and who saw we have some problems. I am happy. I see a lot of progress in the team, in the club. He lost several balls in the midfield, instead of playing a little bit faster and not dribbling with the ball.

"It's easy to give your opinion in front of the television without any responsibility. But it is not fair to talk about one or two". "We had six players aged 22 and younger in the squad, four in the team and two on the bench", he added. Maybe that's something to see that, instead of expecting a Champions League team. They will learn a lot from this game. If we have young players developing and we have some injury problems then it's a good opportunity for them. I'm the right man to do that.

Koeman plans to visit Seamus Coleman next week in Ireland, where the defender is recovering from the horrific double leg break suffered last month.

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