Ronald Koeman says Oumar Niasse made the difference for Everton against Bournemouth
By Oliver Yew
Last Updated: 23/09/17 7:03pm
Ronald Koeman hailed the impact of Oumar Niasse after the substitute scored twice as Everton came from behind to beat Bournemouth 2-1 at Goodison Park.
Last summer the Senegal international was without a squad number, banished from the first-team dressing room and playing for the U23s after manager Koeman decided on the basis of a 45-minute pre-season friendly appearance he was not up to the task.
But with Everton's failure to sign an adequate for Romelu Lukaku in the summer the Dutchman was forced into a re-think and he recalled the striker, who was signed for £13.5m by Roberto Martinez in January, 2016.
After scoring in the midweek Carabao Cup win over Sunderland, Niasse came off the bench on Saturday to score twice in the final 13 minutes and turned around a game heading Bournemouth's way after Josh King's goal early in the second half.
"All credit must go to Oumar Niasse because he's waited a long time for his chance," Koeman told Sky Sports.
"He took it last Wednesday and he did it again today. He made the difference.
"Of course we changed the system and we played a bit more direct and that brought the win, but he scored two great goals."
Everton ended a run of three straight defeats in the Premier League with victory against Bournemouth and they had to do it the hard way after coming from a goal behind.
And Koeman was full of praise for his side's character
He added: "We showed really great character after going 1-0 down. It was close up until half-time and in the end it was a good decision to change the system, bring some new players in and play a bit more direct than we normally play. That changed everything and gave us an important win.
"It was really important we stood up after going 1-0 down. It was really difficult because there was a lot of pressure on everyone to play at home.
"We had great support and we didn't sit down after going a goal behind. We showed great character to come back and win the game and credit must go to all the players because we turned it around from a really difficult position."
After a tough start to the season where they've played Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United, Koeman admitted his side's confidence has dropped in recent weeks but thinks beating Bournemouth can kick-start his side's campaign.
"They have been tough fixtures but also the Europa League on Thursday's at the start of the season [is difficult]," Koeman said.
"We didn't have a normal pre-season. If you get those fixtures at the beginning and don't take a lot points it knocks your confidence.
"Confidence dropped in the team and that was difficult, but we knew we needed to change this and that's the response we showed today."