ToffeeTalk

Football: Ear-splitting Goodison gives us belief to tear up defences

Confidence is a key thing for any team or any person involved in sport and we are playing with a great deal of confidence right now.

We conceded two poor goals against Leicester City last weekend at Goodison Park but we never let it get us down, and we managed to turn it around by half-time to seal our seventh consecutive home win in the Premier League.

You can hear and feel the atmosphere around Goodison when we start playing well. I watched the game again and you can hear the excitement in the stands, a great reverberation around the ground.

When we're playing at home especially, we're not only confident as a group of players but the fans seem confident as well and you can sense that atmosphere.

It is good to be able to take this into today's game against Burnley. We need to build on it through next season and be ultra-positive about the direction we are going as a club and believe we can win any game.

Players aren't robots. You can see it and feel it. There's nothing worse than having thousands of empty seats. It affects players.

When we're playing at home especially, we're not only confident as a group of players but the fans seem confident as well and you can sense that atmosphere.

At Goodison, even when you come out for the warm-up, there's a loud noise, there are supporters in the stadium earlier than ever.

Then you come out to Z Cars (match-day anthem), you hear the roar and you can see every seat is filled which gives you a huge boost.

The club have played a good part in that with sensible pricing and further incentives for young fans. Of course, what happens on the pitch is the main thing but it's important that the club are sensible off it, too, and we have that at Everton.

What we have as well are good young players coming through our academy with the manager (Ronald Koeman) unafraid to give them their chance. We've seen a number of them in the team this season, such as Tom Davies, and several more training regularly with the squad.

I've spoken to David Unsworth, our Under-23s coach, and there will be a little bit of mentoring from myself and the senior players.

We do have that responsibility of coaching them through games and taking them under our wing. They don't particularly need help, but it's just that communication side of things and experience of certain situations on the pitch.

On a personal note, it's been nice to be among the goals of late but it was disappointing that my goal at Old Trafford didn't win the game for us. It's always nice to score and it's something I've taken a bit of stick for especially recently.

Goals come from everywhere in successful teams. We've had 17 different scorers this season and it is important that midfielders and defenders chip in from set pieces. There is no point getting free kicks and corners if you aren't scoring from them. We've done well in that respect in the last few games and hopefully keep it up.

Romelu (Lukaku), of course, is flying up there at the moment but it's good to know that, if he has an off day, there are other people capable of scoring.

Our goal was to qualify for European football next season. We feel that we are in the fight for a top-six finish this season and that's a measure of the club's progress.

You have to always strive to move forward and over the remaining games we'll be trying as hard as we can to make the most of the momentum we have, especially at home.

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

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 15, 2017, with the headline 'Ear-splitting Goodison gives us belief to tear up defences'. Print Edition | Subscribe