To achieve that, we must first maintain our good form at Goodison Park, where we have won three and drawn two of our six games under Sam Allardyce, but also find a way to become more resilient away from home.
We came in for some criticism after last week’s defeat at Arsenal, which was only to be expected because there was no escaping the fact it was a disappointing team performance.
There are two things you can do when you suffer a setback like that: pick the bones out of the game, or put it to one side, move on and focus on bouncing back quickly, which is what we intend to do against Crystal Palace this weekend.
The mood in training this week has been positive and we must now take confidence from the form we showed when the manager first came in, which saw us go seven games undefeated, and use that to go on another run.
Momentum is massive in the Premier League and as soon as you string a few wins together, you can fly up the table.
If we can find some consistent form then even seventh position could be within reach, which is where we finished last season.
From a personal point of view, I’m delighted with how much game-time I have had this season. Everton has given more minutes to young players this season than any other team in the Premier League and for me to have featured in 37 of our 39 matches to date has been an invaluable experience and I’m just embracing it all – the wins and the losses – because it will only serve me well in the future.
New @Everton magazine out now! Includes interviews & features with @theowalcott @seamiecoleman23 @Elia22Mangala Gylfi Sigurdsson @funesmoriofi25 @JPickford1 Craig Shakespeare @DennisAE7 Yakubu Adrian Heath Sam Allardyce Paul Tait @EvertonAcademy @Chloe_Kelly98 @EvertonLadies #EFC pic.twitter.com/BlXhMboU2v— Everton Magazine (@EvertonMagazine) February 9, 2018
I’m also enjoying working with Sam Allardyce. He’s an experienced manager who has worked with many players over the years. For a young player like myself, he’s a good man to learn from and any little pointers that he gives me, I am taking on board.
There’s a certain pressure that comes with playing for a big club like Everton, partly because our fans are so passionate. They love their football and they love the club. When you don’t perform well, they are right on you, and when you do they are right behind you. It’s something you have to take on your shoulders as a player and use it in a positive way.
The recent signings of Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun mean the competition for places up front is now more intense than ever, but I welcome that challenge because I know it will ultimately make me a better player in the long run.
As for the rest of the season, all I am focused on is playing as much as I can, and scoring as many goals as possible, to help the team climb the table. This has been a breakthrough season for me and I’m determined to finish it strongly.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp knows Virgil van Dijk is likely to face an unfriendly atmosphere on his return to St Mary’s but suggested Southampton fans should be pleased with the deal.
Van Dijk switched to the Reds in a deal understood to be worth £75million at the start of the year, joining a host of former Saints players at Anfield.
The Dutchman could start when Liverpool travel to the south coast this weekend and when asked what reception he is likely to get, Klopp replied: “I don’t know exactly but probably it will not be the most friendly.
“It is nothing we think about. I don’t think Southampton will say we have stolen him. It was a really public deal. They may say thank you for all the money they have.
“There are a few good players from there so maybe we should have a scouting department at Southampton and it shows the good work they do down there.”
The 29-year-old ended a largely unhappy spell at Old Trafford as he moved south in a swap deal with contract rebel Alexis Sanchez.
Despite a big-money move to United in the summer of 2016, Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho never appeared convinced by Mkhitaryan.
The Armenia international often found himself on the fringes of the team but now has a new lease of life at Arsenal, setting up three goals on his full debut in last weekend’s 5-1 win over Everton.
Although he had a rough time in the north-west, Mkhitaryan wants to put the past behind him and find the sort of form that left United and Arsenal battling for his signature when he left Borussia Dortmund.
“I don’t want to find excuses,” he said.
“I don’t want to blame anyone…I am starting a new chapter in my life, in my football career and I am very happy to be here.
“I will be pleased to achieve more than I have done in Manchester, of course. I don’t have anything to prove to anyone. I just have to enjoy myself, do my best and at the end I will see where I can reach.”
While in Germany, Mkhitaryan struck up an understanding – both on and off the pitch – with Dortmund team-mate Aubameyang.
Now Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has reunited the pair at the Emirates Stadium having completed a club-record deadline-day move to bring in Aubameyang from the Westfalenstadion.
The Gabon striker scored on his debut against Everton, assisted by Mkhitaryan, who is delighted to be working with his friend once again.
“I think it could only be in a dream that we could join another club other than Dortmund but I am very happy for that,” he said.
“I have known him very well, he is one of my best friends and the best team-mate I have ever had. I am very happy to have him here and I think all the fans are happy to see him in an Arsenal shirt.
“What can I say? I love playing with him. I can understand him from one step and hopefully for the next games we are going to achieve more.”
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has now assisted Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the first time since 30th April 2016 when Borussia Dortmund beat Wolfsburg 5-1.
644 days. pic.twitter.com/v50e1FpCA3
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 3, 2018
Although Mkhitaryan joined United, he has been a self-confessed Arsenal fan for over a decade having fallen in love with Wenger’s attacking philosophy and has lofty ambitions for his time at the club.
“I loved the way that Arsenal were playing at the time, I loved the way Arsene Wenger was treating his players, I loved the way that everything was happening around the club,” he explained.
“So it was just a dream, it was a drive to say ‘why not? I’m supporting Arsenal and I want to play for that club as well.’
“Of course first of all we have to win lots of games. Secondly, we have to think that we have to win titles because at the end of your football career only the titles mean something.
“I think if you play football, it doesn’t matter for which club, you have to achieve the maximum and you have to win titles because if you are playing just to play football it is better to stop playing it, you have to play to win titles and leave your name in the history of football.”