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Arsenal (A) Sun 1 Mar 2015, 14:05, Barclays Premier League


Leon Osman has revealed that Everton’s tactical reshuffle resulted in different responsibilities for the central midfielders against Stoke City.

The Blues attacked the Potters with a wing-back system on Saturday – a formation which Osman admits affected his direct influence on the game.

Still, the England international was happy to assume the role he was asked by manager David Moyes for the greater good of the team.

“It was a different approach,” Osman told evertontv. “We put three centre-halves in and it probably helped us to nullify their aerial threat and the long ball, but it made it a lot more difficult for me and Gibbo in the middle.

“We had to work a lot harder and get about the pitch a bit more, but that’s part of being a team.

“It’s not always about playing on the ball – sometimes it’s about sacrificing and running around the pitch.”

Everton have now won four of their last five matches at Goodison Park, taking maximum points from Premier League games against Reading, Manchester City and Stoke during March.

Osman insists that this impressive form must now be taken on the road if the Blues are to keep on the heels of the clubs currently occupying the European qualification positions.

“We knew the approach Stoke would bring to the game and we knew we would have to match that,” explained the 31-year-old.

“It wasn’t about us playing around them because they are a difficult team to play against, but it was important we got the win.”

He added: “We need to keep on winning games at the minute, especially at home. We will see if we can pick up points away from home as well and keep going as long as we can.”

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