Ronald Koeman says Everton can cope without Oumar Niasse on Thursday
By Mark Crellin
Last Updated: 27/09/17 6:07pm
Ronald Koeman says he has no regrets about leaving in-form striker Oumar Niasse out of his Europa League squad.
Koeman's team made a poor start to their European campaign, losing 3-0 at Atalanta a fortnight ago, and they will look to bounce back against Apollon Limassol at Goodison Park on Thursday night.
But they will be without Niasse, who bagged both goals on Saturday as Everton came from behind to secure a crucial 2-1 win over Bournemouth.
However, that was the Senegal international's first Premier League appearance since May 2016 and he was seemingly out of the picture when the Europa League squad was named earlier this month.
Asked if he regretted Niasse's omission, Koeman said on Wednesday: "No, because we had to make that decision, I think a really long time ago, and that time his situation was not the situation of now.
"In life, you don't get a second chance and you have to decide, and then you make a decision.
"I believe we need to improve our attacking, but I am not worried because I believe in the qualities of our strikers."
Everton were off-colour in Atlanta but they come into Thursday's match on the back of a 3-0 Carabao Cup win over Sunderland and the defeat of Bournemouth, and Koeman believes home wins can see them through to the next stage in Europe.
"The two wins were important, but this is a different competition," he said.
"We need to react because what we saw in Italy was not the Everton we like. We have to show that revenge feeling tomorrow.
"You play three games at home in the group stage and you need to win those."
Everton will be without midfielder James McCarthy, who has been sidelined by a knee problem and is yet to play this season.
But on Tuesday he was named in the Republic of Ireland's provisional squad for World Cup qualifiers against Moldova on October 6 and Wales three days later.
Koeman had a war of words with Republic boss Martin O'Neill last term over McCarthy's use by the national team after suffering injury.
Asked about McCarthy's selection for the upcoming matches, Koeman said: "Every nation is free to call the players. They need to see the player, and then if it's possible.
"I heard from the doctor he can be part of the team for training this Friday but his last game was in July. I think that is the answer for you."
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