Oumar Niasse is determined to “finish the season properly” with Everton, starting with this weekend’s visit of Crystal Palace to Goodison Park.
The 27-year old striker, who has started Everton’s previous two Premier League games against Leicester City and Arsenal, has pointed to the club’s 2-1 win over the Foxes as the benchmark going forward.
Roy Hodgson leads his Eagles side this weekend as they continue their resurgence under the former England manager. Also coached by a former England coach, Everton haven’t had as much success, and will look to get back on track against Palace.
Niasse enjoyed a fine personal performance against Palace in the reverse fixture in November, winning a penalty for Everton’s first equalising goal and scoring for his sides’ second.
Now with more quality in the Toffees’ squad, thanks to both January additions and injury returns, Niasse is confident that the squad can end the season in the right way. He said;
We are going to finish the season properly. We will not give Palace anything. We want to try to get our three points.
I was in a good moment at that time [when we played at Palace]. I was getting fit, and my confidence was coming back. That game is me when I am fit and confident – I play that type of game every time.
At Palace it was my second game in a row and I was feeling good. I can take some good things from that game.
They played well on that day but now we are in a better position. We have had good players come in like Theo [Walcott], Cenk [Tosun] and Manga (Eliaquim Mangala). Séamus Coleman is back and played a very good game against Leicester. Ramiro Funes Mori and Leighton Baines will come back soon and join the guys as well.
This is another game at home. I want to keep going and get my fitness and confidence back – hopefully I will have a better game than I did at Selhurst Park.
Niasse also admits that he shouldn’t have been so wasteful in his previous two games, missing two simpler chances against Leicester in particular. However, the Senegal internaitonal is sure it won’t be long until he is back scoring again. He continued;
I am just doing what I always try to do, which is work hard every day – at training and in the matches.
Sometimes you get a chance and you will score, other times it does not happen.
Against Leicester I missed two very good chances but that is part of the game. As a striker you must know how to handle it if you miss an opportunity. You have to keep going, playing your game, and playing well.
Every time I play I am trying to help the team and the Club to be better – and to progress myself. With Wayne Rooney playing behind [me] it is good. He knows the league, he reads the game so well and he plays the right passes.
Theo’s pace is going to help the team and Gylfi’s passing is good; everything he does on the pitch is smart. Any striker who plays with these guys, you are going to cause defences a lot of problems because their movement and their brand of football is so intelligent.
A win for Everton on Saturday will temporarily see them move into ninth place in the Premier League table, at least until Bournemouth play Huddersfield on Sunday.