Klaassen wants Europa League glory

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Davy Klaassen insists he does not need to use the disappointment of losing last season's UEFA Europa League final to Manchester United to be hungry for European success with Everton.

Ronald Koeman's side begins its Europa League campaign against Atalanta on Friday (AEST), with the remaining spots in Group E taken up by Lyon and Apollon Limassol.

Klaassen, who captained Ajax to the final last season before joining the Toffees in June, believes Everton has all the tools to go far in this season's competition.

"I didn't need to lose in the final [last season] to be hungry to win at Everton - you always have to be hungry," the Netherlands international said. "It's important to start the group stage with a win because that gives you confidence and some space.

"English football is a different way of playing. That's what I wanted. It's something bigger and I'm enjoying it.

"Of course, our last result [a 3-0 home defeat to Tottenham] wasn't what we wanted but we are ready for tomorrow and I'm confident.

"We had a difficult start at Ajax last year but we picked it up and I'm confident we will do the same here. We have a really good squad and we can have a good season.

"I like the club, I like the life, and my team-mates have made me feel really welcome. I need to improve, we need to improve but we'll be there."

Everton spent big in the close-season, breaking its record transfer three times over the course of the window, but Koeman's side has struggled to gel in recent weeks, having succumbed to two successive Premier League defeats - against Chelsea and Tottenham respectively.

Koeman, though, says Everton's domestic struggles will not distract from its aims in Europe, adding that he is confident his team will improve after a poor display against Spurs.

"I take the Europa League really seriously. That will be no different tomorrow," he said. "Every manager in the past took every game seriously but, maybe, they did more rotation than other clubs in this competition."


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