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Ronald Koeman: Jose Mourinho's Everton comment unrealistic

MANCHESTER -- Ronald Koeman has hit back at Jose Mourinho's suggestion Everton should be aiming to "at least" finish in the top four this season by branding the claim unrealistic.

Koeman also said United had not impressed him despite winning the game 4-0.

Mourinho wrote in his programme notes ahead of Everton's visit to Old Trafford on Sunday that a team which spent £140 million in the summer should be looking to secure Champions League football.

But after watching Everton suffer a heavy defeat, Koeman insisted that view was wide of the mark.

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He said: "I read the United programme and my colleague [Mourinho] said about Everton spending £140m and so they need to go for the top four.

"If there's anybody in this room and outside and sees this as something realistic for us, please comment.

"Be realistic. I'm not happy how we started the season, but please be a bit realistic about Everton. We need time, but it's difficult in football."

Koeman spent £142.38m to bring in nine new players over the summer, including Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson, who were all in the starting XI against United.

Ahead of the game, Mourinho wrote in the programme: "Everybody knows that this afternoon will be a tough game because we are up against a team that has spent over £140 million during the course of the summer transfer window, so obviously we are playing against a team that wants to at least secure a top four position this season."

The result at Old Trafford left Everton in the bottom three on goal difference after collecting just four points from five games and scoring only two goals.

But despite leaving Old Trafford on the end of a 4-0 defeat, Koeman said he was "not so impressed" with Mourinho's team.

He said: "You saw the team growing in confidence, in quality. We made it difficult.

"The best period was after half-time. You don't create six big opportunities but we had two, for Wayne Rooney and Gylfi. The goalkeeper saved United.

"We did some substitutes to play a little bit more offensive. I felt there is something possible here this afternoon. I wasn't so impressed by United. That is maybe strange after a 4-0 defeat but they were really clinical and we didn't deserve this."

Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.

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