Everton defender John Heitinga has spoken exclusively to evertonfc.com to assure supporters that he is fully committed to the Blue cause.
Quotes attributed to Heitinga appeared in a national newspaper over the weekend and suggested that he was far from happy at Goodison Park. The player is keen to put the comments into context.
“I did an interview a couple of weeks ago with a Dutch newspaper and I was happy with the way they presented it,” he explained.
“However, the paper in England selected only some of the quotes and put them next to questions that I wasn’t asked. I did the interview in Holland with a smile on my face and it is unfortunate that these things happen when players do interviews on international duty.
“Of course, I want to play. I always want to play and especially here at Everton, where I am delighted with the way the supporters have taken to me. I am like every footballer – I want to play regularly and I get frustrated when I am not able to play and help the team.”
Heitinga, who was an ever-present in the Dutch side en-route to the World Cup final last summer, acknowledges that not being in the team at times is part and parcel of being a footballer.
“The manager can only select 11 players to start each game and I am like every other professional footballer in that I want to be in the team. I have confidence in my own ability in the same way as the other players do at Everton.
“Every player thinks he should be playing and every player thinks he’s better than the competition. If you don’t then it shows a lack of self-belief.
“All I can say is that I love playing at Everton and I love playing for the manager. I am not happy when I am not playing but I haven’t met many footballers who are happy when they’re not involved.
“The manager has told all the players here that we will get playing time and it’s up to us to make the most of it and to take the opportunity. I am nothing less than 100% committed to Everton Football Club and will continue to be the same every time I play.”
Heitinga spoke to evertonfc.com from the Dutch training base ahead of Tuesday evening’s European Championship qualifier against Hungary.