Fitness and intensity the key for Koeman

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has credited an intense training programme at Finch Farm for the club's fantastic early season success.

The Toffees are currently second in the league after five games trailing only Manchester City having enjoyed an unbeaten start to their league campaign.

"What we do here at Everton in training and in matches is that we play in a really intense way, for example five against five with the will to win and not just to do the drill," Koeman told NOS in his native Holland.

"The margins are small but our tempo is very high. We train for an hour-and-a-half and not two hours but we train in a really concentrated and intensive way and players find that difficult.

"I was at Manchester City's training (the other day) and if you look at how many fit players that they have in relation to last season it is a massive difference and that is down to the way that they train."

Koeman stressed that while he has a set style he prefers not to restrict his team with a rigid game plan.

"I am an advocate of retaining ball possession rather than chasing the ball and building from the back but in some cases if you are much more direct you can also be more dangerous," he explained.

"I believe that you have to find a balance between both styles of play and that does not always happen in the Netherlands.

"I also believe that it very naive to only play football one way. However, it is important to stay true to your football ideas."

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