ToffeeTalk

Beating Burnley will lift spirits before break

After the disappointment of conceding a late equaliser in our Europa League tie with Apollon Limassol on Thursday evening, we are eager to get back to winning ways this weekend when my former club, Burnley, visit Goodison Park in the English Premier League.

This was one of the first games I looked for when the fixture list came out in the summer and, having missed our last two matches with a foot injury, I've been working hard to prove my fitness in time to face my former team-mates.

Of course, I still have lots of friends at Burnley and I enjoyed some great times at Turf Moor, but I'm an Everton player now so any feelings I have for my former club will be put to one side as we go in search of three points and a win.

This would give everyone at the club a lift going into the international break.

It goes without saying that the lads were disappointed with how the game ended on Thursday night. I thought we did enough on the night to win, even though we did not perform at our best. But we failed to see the game out and record what would have been a third straight victory and that was disappointing and frustrating for everyone.

Equally, it's gone now. We need to forget about it and focus on what we need to do better as a team.

As a squad, we are working hard every day in training to improve and I really believe it's only a matter of time before things click into place.

Hopefully I can be fit enough to be available for England and get a chance to play and get the win that would ensure our qualification for the World Cup.

Having played for Sean Dyche, I know Burnley will try to make things difficult for us and we will have to be patient.

They are a physically strong, well-organised side who are hard to break down so I am expecting a tight game. Every set piece will be coming into our box and we will have to deal with that and we'll have to hurt them going forward.

Hopefully we can play some good football, get the fans behind us and have a good boost going into the international break.

Hopefully I can be fit enough to be available for England and get a chance to play and get the win that would ensure our qualification for the World Cup in Russia next year.

It's obviously a fantastic honour to be called up again, it's a great team to be involved in, a great squad with a lot of ambition and hopefully I'll be all right. I'm certainly excited and looking forward to it.

If I can put myself in the manager's mind to get a game, that's what I'll be looking to do.

•Toffee Talk is an exclusive column by English Premier League club Everton for The Straits Times that gives a more intimate look inside Goodison Park.

EVERTON V BURNLEY
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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 01, 2017, with the headline 'Beating Burnley will lift spirits before break'. Print Edition | Subscribe