Koeman doesn’t expect jeers for Lukaku

Ronald Koeman expects Everton supporters to understand that Romelu Lukaku remains committed to Everton, despite his likely exit at the end of the season.

The joint Premier League top scorer with Tottenham's Harry Kane, on 19 goals – rejected a contract that would have made him the highest earner in Everton history, claiming the club's lack of ambition to win big tropies as the reason for doing so.

The Belgian hitman may have earned the ire of Toffees supporters but, when asked if he could expect jeers from the home-crowd in the upcoming fixture against Hull City, his manager said that he expects fans to respect the player's on-field committment and also urged them not to read too much into his statement.

"If the player shows his commitment in his football, then everybody can make mistakes and then you realise it's no problem," Koeman told reporters. "But I don't think so because we need the support – every player who is starting needs the support.

"I think everybody needs to understand ambitions," the Dutch manager continued. "And his situation I tried to explain – he's a professional player and his commitment maybe looks different about 2-3 quotes in the press but he is young and we can see these things."

Koeman also took the opportunity to restate his club's ambition, claiming that a breakthrough season is around the corner.

"I think we can make the next step next season," the former Barcelona defender said. "If we can move on and get in what we want to make the team really strong, I think we can battle with them, yes.

"See the difference between this season and last season – that's the first step. We have the same points now as last season. What more can we show? How long did it take for Tottenham to really be where they are now? Three or four years," Koeman added.

"You can't do it one year, and we try to get the best players, but most of them like to play in the Champions League and we are still not playing there."