By Alex Taylor
Everton manager Ronald Koeman has admitted that his players are not at the required fitness level to start the Premier League season this weekend.
The new Toffees boss took charge at Goodison Park this summer following the sacking of Roberto Martinez at the back-end of last season.
The former Southampton manager has taken his side through a pre-season tour and spent time at Finch Farm in the build up to another Premier League season, but still feels his side are not yet ready for their upcoming domestic campaign.
“Of course it’s always nice to start the season,” Koeman told the Daily Mail. “But we are not at the level we need to be. Not in terms of players’ physical states.”
The Blues begin the new season at home to Tottenham on Saturday and will hoping for a strong start to get them going this term.
Koeman has been joined by new majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri and talent-spotter Steve Walsh at the club in the off-season, and the move has already paid dividends.
Ashley Williams completed his £12million move to Merseyside this week, and he followed the singing of Maarten Stekelenburg earlier in the transfer window.
In other Everton team news, legend Tim Cahill has joined Melbourne City from Hangzhou Greentown after agreeing a player-coach role.