We are back in FA Cup action this weekend and head to Millwall for a fourth-round tie looking to continue our adventure in this season’s competition.
I’ve played at The Den before, during my time with Charlton Athletic, so I know there will be an atmosphere in the stadium on Saturday evening. Millwall are a strong side so we are expecting a tough game, but we are taking the FA Cup extremely seriously and everyone in our dressing room wants a big Cup run this season.
In the last round we beat Lincoln City 2-1 at Goodison Park and I was pleased to net my first goal of the season in that tie. It’s not often I score a headed goal but I popped up with one that afternoon.
I’ve started the two Premier League matches since that match (against Bournemouth and Southampton) and I’m pleased to be making a positive contribution to the team. I love playing football – it’s something I’ve always wanted to do – so I’m happy that I’m being given the platform to do that in the Premier League.
I don’t think I’m far away from producing my best displays. When you are given the chance to start a game and show what you can do, it’s vital you grasp that opportunity with both hands.
For me, now, the goal has to be to keep improving every day. Our manager, Marco Silva, has impressed upon me the need to keep working hard and always look to develop the different aspects of my game, and that is what I am determined to do.
It was around this time last season that I got the opportunity to go on loan to RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga. It was a different football experience in Germany, a new country for me and a new environment and I was open to that at the time.
Being away from home, I think you learn more things about yourself and how you are as a person. I definitely learnt a lot during the time I was over there. I scored five goals in 11 appearances for Leipzig and I think my game improved as a result of the experience. Hopefully I can now replicate that form here with Everton. Goals and assists are important when you play in the position that I do and I know I need to add more of those to my game.
After the FA Cup tie at Millwall, we face another away match in the Premier League on Tuesday night against a Huddersfield Town team that will be looking for a ‘bounce’ following a change of manager.
Their players will be doing everything they possibly can to impress new Head Coach, Jan Siewert, in what will be his first home game in charge so it’s essential we match that hunger and desire to give us the best possible chance of returning with the three points.
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