Ronald Koeman says he is over Everton disappointment
By Jordan Cronin
Last Updated: 20/03/18 12:49pm
Ronald Koeman says he is over the disappointment of being sacked by Everton and is honoured to take charge of the Netherlands for the first time against England.
Koeman, who was replaced by Sam Allardyce as Toffees boss in October, welcomes England to the Amsterdam Arena on Friday, and anticipates a "great game".
The 54-year-old has been tasked with returning the Dutch to the global stage after they failed to qualify for Euro 2016 and the upcoming World Cup under Danny Blind and Dick Advocaat.
"We are here. It is a new challenge. It is one I couldn't say no to," Koeman told the Daily Mail.
"It is an honour to be the Holland coach and I am looking forward to trying to get the country moving forward again.
"I want to take us to the next big tournament in 2020. That is the aim.
"It is a big and difficult challenge. Everybody knows this. We have not qualified for the last two big tournaments and, OK, it is going to take time."
Koeman will be reunited with Jordan Pickford on Friday after paying £30million to bring the England goalkeeper to Goodison Park from Sunderland last summer. But the Dutchman was sacked by Everton after just two wins from nine games.
"After Everton, where everyone knew it was really difficult towards the end, I needed time to focus again," said Koeman.
"I needed to recover. I have had a good time to relax. I work because I want to work.
"Even after that decision (his sacking), I was still crazy about football.
"I wanted to be involved as a coach, I wanted to be with the national team and this was the right time to try the challenge - for me and the national team."