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Southampton (A) Sat 20 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Kev Keen To Build On Toon Start

by Andy Lewis @efc_andylewis

Kevin Mirallas is desperately hoping his hard work on the training pitch will translate into a flying start to his Everton career.

The signs were good as the Belgian showed glimpses of his talents on his first Premier League start in the 2-2 draw with Newcastle United on Monday night.

There was pace, flair, tricks and almost a spectacular first league goal as he flayed a long-range effort inches wide midway through the first half.

Given that he feels he is still not firing on all cylinders, it was a debut that augurs well for the future.

“I felt very comfortable out there,” Mirallas told evertontv. “I saw a lot of the ball and I got a lot of support from my teammates.

“They were talking to me all through the game. I'm still conscious I'm not 100 per cent fit yet and I think I still need maybe two or three more games to get that full match fitness.

“I've been ready to work really hard. The main reason that I am hopefully settling in quite well and quite quickly is the fact that I'm really prepared to go all out – both in training and on the field.

“I want to roll my sleeves up and get stuck in. That's important and they are the kind of lessons I've learnt here so far.”

The major downside for the Belgian was that his full league debut didn’t end in victory.

Having led twice and dominated for large periods, he admitted it was disappointing that some poor decisions from the officials and some questionable defending cost Everton the win.

Victor Anichebe was denied a ‘goal’ as his header was hacked clear with the ball over the line, while Marouane Fellaini saw another erroneously chalked off for offside.

Mirallas added: “First and foremost, we wanted to get a good result to make up for what happened at West Brom.

“The three points were in our hands with just two minutes to go. It's really frustrating when you concede right at the death like that. It is two points dropped tonight certainly.

“[The disallowed goals] were a shame, but you can never really contest a referee or a linesman's decision. That's football and that's sport. Sometimes it goes for you and others it goes against you. It would have certainly been three points for us if those goals had counted.

“On our first half display we deserved a handsome victory.

“But when you concede goals like that, you might deserve a win but you can get punished. That's football - you concede and that's the victory taken away from you”

The game was another opportunity for the 24-year-old to sample a night game at Goodison, and he added: “I've always preferred playing night games myself. That's a personal preference of mine and I've been fortunate to have now played two games at Goodison, both at night.

“It's a fantastic atmosphere and you always get the feeling that the fans are right behind you. Let's hope they continue to be behind us all season.”

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