Ronald Koeman warns Southampton to battle for Euro chance

Everton 1 Southampton 1

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has told his players if they do not beat Aston Villa next weekend their season will be over prematurely.

A 1-1 draw at Everton in a match they dominated was not the result they wanted as they chase European football.

The point saw the Saints lose ground on fifth-placed Manchester United and despite three wins and a draw in their last five matches Koeman has demanded more to prevent the campaign fizzling out and he expects nothing less than a win at already-relegated Villa.

“I think from the game yesterday and next game we need at least four points and so next week is crucial,” said Koeman. “If not, then we play the last three to finish the season. We have to win for the fans but not fighting for European football.”

Mane scored Southampton’s goal in the 76th minute when he prodded home from close range, just eight minutes after Ramiro Funes Mori had given the hosts the lead.

It is not the first time this season Everton have thrown away an advantage and another desperately poor performance provoked one fan to run onto the pitch to remonstrate with stand-in captain Leon Osman before hurling abuse at manager Roberto Martinez.

The Toffees boss was hamstrung by injuries and with a midweek Merseyside derby followed by an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United to come he made six changes to his side.

Republic of Ireland full-back Seamus Coleman is likely to find out in the next 24 hours whether his dreams of a Wembley appearance, he has no chance of making the derby midweek, have been dashed by a hamstring problem as injuries continue to mount ahead of arguably the biggest week of the season.

EVERTON: Robles, Coleman (Connolly 54), Stones, Funes Mori, Oviedo, Besic, Gibson (Davies 83), Osman, Deulofeu (Barkley 64), Kone, Mirallas.

SOUTHAMPTON: Forster, Martina, Fonte (Yoshida 38), van Dijk, Bertrand, Wanyama (Rodriguez 72), Clasie, Tadic, Long, Mane, Pelle (Steven Davis 64).

Referee: Craig Pawson


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