Ronald Koeman desperate for Everton response in Europa League
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 28/09/17 8:15am
Ronald Koeman wants Everton to have "that revenge feeling" when they host Apollon Limassol on Thursday.
The Toffees head into what is their second Europa League Group E fixture having been woeful in their 3-0 opening-round loss in Atalanta two weeks ago.
Koeman, whose side halted their four-game losing streak last week by beating Sunderland 3-0 in the Carabao Cup, then won 2-1 against Bournemouth in the Premier League, said ahead of the Apollon match: "The two wins were important, but this is a different competition.
"We need to react, because what we saw in Italy was not the Everton we like. We have to show that revenge feeling [on Thursday]."
Everton will be without in-form forward Oumar Niasse as Koeman opted not to include him in the squad for the group stage of this competition - a decision the manager insists he has no regrets over.
When the squad was announced on September 5, Niasse had not featured for Everton's first team since May 2016, with the Senegal striker having spent time banished to the U23s and then on loan at Hull.
Everton v Apollon preview
Wayne Rooney expected to play after taking full part in training on Wednesday.
He returned in some style last week as two substitute appearances saw him score once against Sunderland on Wednesday and then twice against Bournemouth to turn that game around on Saturday.
When asked if it was frustrating that Niasse was not part of his squad for the Europa League, Koeman said: "No, because we had to make that decision a long time ago.
"At that time his situation was not the situation of now."
He added: "I believe we need to improve our attacking, but I am not worried because I believe in the qualities of our strikers."
Another man unavailable for the game is midfielder James McCarthy, who has been sidelined by a knee problem and is yet to play this season.
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.
Koeman was asked at his pre-Apollon press conference how he regarded McCarthy's condition and the call-up.
And he 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."
Wayne Rooney, left with a cut above his left eye and a bloodied face on Saturday having been caught by Simon Francis' arm, is fit to feature, but Michael Keane (foot) and Phil Jagielka (hamstring) remain unavailable.
Mason Holgate is set to play at centre-back again as he did at the weekend.