Koeman: “I’m not afraid of the reaction!”

Everton manager Ronald Koeman is hoping for a good reception from Southampton fans on Sunday… but is not expecting one.

The 53-year-old Dutchman spent two years in charge at St. Mary’s before leaving for the Toffees this summer, a move which angered many Saints supporters.

The Blues travel to the south coast for a Premier League match-up on Sunday afternoon and Koeman is hopeful that he’ll get the respect he feels he deserves from his former club.

“I hope they will respect me but of course, I understand the difference in opinions and reactions from fans and I’m not afraid of that,” he said.

“I cannot change opinions and feelings of Southampton fans. The last two seasons I had a great time and the club was very successful. I was part of that and I’m very proud of that and after my career I will look back with fond memories.”

The Everton boss believes he made the right decision to move to pastures new but is anticipating a tough game at St. Mary’s this weekend.

Former Saints boss Ronald Koeman returns to St. Mary's this Sunday with his Everton side.
Former Saints boss Ronald Koeman returns to St. Mary’s this Sunday with his Everton side.

“Now I’ll be returning as the away manager for a difficult game,” he added.

“They need the points, we need the points too but of course, it’s special.

“I’m happy I made the decision to move because it’s a big club and a big project. Not an easy one but we are confident we can reach our goals.

“What happened in the past is in the past. It’s time to think about Everton, I made the choice to move and I’m very happy.

“They have a new manager now and that’s football. Managers and players change and it’s time to look forward.”