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Phil Jagielka admits the Everton players are being kept on their toes by new manager Ronald Koeman.
Everton have made their best to a season since 1978 with four wins and a draw in their opening five games to leave them second in the table behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Following his appointment in June Koeman wasted little time in stamping his authority on the club but Jagielka feels his strict approach is paying dividends and he believes they can only get better.
"Yes there is a fear, definitely, just down to the fact that there have been people who have had good pre-seasons and they haven't started a game yet," said Jagielka.
"He is not scared of making changes. James (McCarthy) was really unlucky at West Brom, playing out of position and he got brought off before half-time because we needed to do something different tactically.
"He is not afraid of making decisions before and after the game.
"It is like being back at school with a new headteacher who is trying to be a little bit stricter.
"You only have to look at the jobs he has done. That proves he has not done a bad job.
"At the moment it is going well. I wouldn't say we are playing amazing, but we are getting fantastic results and that breeds confidence."
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