Toffee Talk/Romelu Lukaku: Everton can finish season at Goodison on a high

Romelu Lukaku has been named Everton Player of the Year and the striker has urged his team-mates to finish the season on a high.
Romelu Lukaku has been named Everton Player of the Year and the striker has urged his team-mates to finish the season on a high.PHOTO: REUTERS

With a place in the Europa League secured, we go into our final home game of the season against Watford at Goodison Park tonight determined to put in a strong performance in front of our fans.

The manager set the standard for this season from day one. When we came back on the first day, we knew what we had to do, which was to step up to better things, and I think we've done that as a team and as individuals. Everybody has played at a high level.

I look at the improvement of Ross Barkley, who inspires me day in, day out with his talent. Idrissa Gana Gueye came in from a team that got relegated last season and has become a main man in midfield. And I look at Phil Jagielka too. Jags was out of the starting line-up at one stage but came back and is now leading the team week in, week out.

I feel I have also improved as a player but I was still surprised and humbled to pick up two trophies - Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year - at the club's end of season awards night this week.

I knew I had a little chance of coming away with something but I thought that maybe my playing style was not the type that wins individual trophies. Power-play is different but to be recognised with both awards is a blessing for me.

It's the first time I've won the Players' Player award and to get the vote from my teammates was really great. I put the work in every day to improve and help my teammates and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart.

My own vote went to Idrissa and I expected him to win both awards because, for me, he has consistently been our best player this season. He and the other midfielders have brought life to the midfield and given Ross, Kevin (Mirallas), Yannick (Bolasie) and I a platform to create things.

I also want to thank the manager for pushing me. As a young guy, I just try to learn every day and give my best. Sometimes there are ups and downs but it's always with the best intentions.

Sometimes I moan when we lose and stuff like that, so I'm not always an easy guy to work with! But the manager understands me and we speak on a daily basis. It helps when the manager speaks your own language and he's also been tough with me. But because of that, he has got the best out of me and I will always be grateful.

Now our thoughts turn to Watford. We want to give the best performance we can at Goodison and give the fans a good feeling. It's also important to the players to win the final home game because we deserve to end the season on a high and we are going to give our best to make sure we achieve that.

As a team I think we are on track and the future looks bright.