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Koeman: Lukaku won't be booed

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has no concerns about star striker Romelu Lukaku potentially being booed by fans.

Lukaku, 23, appears set to leave the Premier League club after this week questioning their ambition.

However, Koeman expects no jeers towards Lukaku, who has 19 league goals this season, when his side host Hull City at Goodison Park on Saturday.

"I don't think so," the Dutchman told UK newspapers.

"If the player shows his commitment in his football, then everybody can make mistakes and then you realise it's no problem, 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, 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."

Everton are set to miss out on a top-four finish this season, sitting seventh in the table and eight points behind rivals Liverpool.

Koeman believes his side are a season away from challenging for a spot in the Champions League.

"I think we can make the next step next season. 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," he said.

"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?"

He added: "How long did it take for Tottenham to really be where they are now? Three or four years.

"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."