Everton manager Ronald Koeman optimistic Romelu Lukaku will face Bournemouth
By Andy Charles
Last Updated: 24/09/16 11:59pm
Ronald Koeman is optimistic Romelu Lukaku will be back for Everton in Saturday's Premier League trip to Bournemouth.
The Belgium striker missed the EFL Cup third round 2-0 defeat to Norwich in midweek with a toe injury after scoring four goals in his previous two matches.
But Koeman hopes his leading scorer will not need to miss any more game time after they failed to hit the target in a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Sky Bet Championship side.
"He did training, separate to the group, today and we expect him to train normally tomorrow [Friday] morning. If that happens then he is fit for the weekend."
Koeman was disappointed with his side's finishing on Wednesday when goals from former Everton players Steven Naismith and Josh Murphy saw a run of five successive wins in all competitions come to a grinding halt.
"Against different systems or different ways of defending, you need to be prepared. But it was not the problem that we did not create opportunities [against Norwich]. We did not score the goal," he added.
"The quality players can make a difference in the productivity that we did not have on Tuesday. Before that [we did], and that's important because it's one of the qualities of the players."
The Dutchman made six changes for the midweek match but Koeman hinted it was unlikely any of them - including Enner Valencia, Aaron Lennon and Tom Cleverley - had put huge pressure on his regular starters.
"There's too much focus on these players. What I tried to do was put out the best XI that I thought was the best for the weekend," he said. "They need to give competition to the rest of the players. Normally we have in every position two players.
"Some had a very good game and some had not the productivity. I was not happy about the result, of course, but I was comfortable with what they showed.
"It was not good enough because we did not score the goal but in general I wasn't disappointed about the work-rate of the team.
"Sometimes you miss chances, that's part of football. In cup football you don't get a second chance. That's a pity but we need to accept it and go on because we have had a good start to the season."