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23rd Jul, 2016 | 9:42pm

Ronald Koeman happy with first Everton game, praises the fans

By Amir Mir

Ronald Koeman expressed his delight as Everton were victorious in a pre-season friendly against Barnsley, in the Dutchman’s first game in charge of the club.

The Toffees comfortably beat the Championship side on Saturday afternoon 3-0, with goals from attacking trio Kevin Mirallas, Gerard Deulofeu and Ross Barkley, and a clean sheet for the defence.

The highly-rated manager took charge of the Merseyside club earlier on June 14 after leaving former club Southampton.

Koeman was pleased with the team’s overall performance, including the defensive line.

“First pre-season match in England with Everton,” Koeman posted on his personal Twitter account. “Solid win against Barnsley. 3 good goals, another clean sheet and great support from our fans!”

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The former Barcelona player takes charge of a team that finished a disappointing 11th last season, which led to the sacking of Spaniard Roberto Martinez.

Koeman’s first task is to keep hold of his star players, with £75 million rated striker Romelu Lukaku and £50 million rated defender John Stones attracting interest from Premier League rivals.

Stones missed the win against the Tykes through injury, but senior figures Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman and Darren Gibson all boosted their fitness ahead of the forthcoming Premier League campaign.

In other Everton team news, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has sent a message about Mata Everton fans will not want to hear.