'Sandro Sets Simple Aim

by Mark Rowan

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Alessandro Pistone believes that he is more than capable of a sustained run in the Everton first team next season.

Injury has interrupted each of the Italian defender's three years at Goodison Park but now he says he's never felt better.

Involved in every training session since returning for the preparations almost five weeks ago, the former Milan and Newcastle star has already set himself a target.

However, Pistone has decided against adopting the age old clichés of 'helping the club get into Europe' or 'finishing as high up the table as possible', instead his primary aim is much simpler - to stay injury free.

"That is what I am looking for - being fit for as long as I can," he told evertonfc.com at the Blues' St Andrews training base.

"Last year we had a good pre-season but unfortunately I couldn't participate in it all because I had to stop for a while because of injury.

"I just want to finally have a season without any injuries and play as many games as I can. I think if that happens then I have a chance.

"There are many, many games and the gaffer has told us that if we play well then we will keep our place in the side.

"I think that is right attitude. Everyone then has to give 100 per cent at all times in order to keep their place."

Pistone, who made 21 appearances for the Blues last term, has done his chances of a starting berth no harm with a number of impressive displays at both left and right back.

But he remains coy over his preference and to this question he does offer the stock response.

"I am ready to play wherever the manager wants me to," he said. "I just want to play as many games as is possible.

"There is competition for places here now and that is normal. Last season was a very competitive season at the club, so I think this one will be the same.

"We are preparing ourselves in a good way for the start of the new campaign. We are working hard each day and have been involved in some tough games over the past couple of weeks."

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