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

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Lacina Traore was delighted to cap his Everton debut with a goal - one he hopes will be the first of many.

The giant striker signed for the Blues on loan in January but has had to wait for his bow while recovering from injury.

And within four minutes of his first outing, Traore had skilfully back-heeled the opener in Sunday's 3-1 FA Cup win at home to Swansea.

He told evertontv: "I'm really, really happy. It was a pleasure for me to start my first game and then to cap that with a goal was absolutely great.

"It was . I was already in the goalmouth and when I saw that Sylvain lifted his head up and saw me and picked me out with a great pass, all I had to do was put it in the net.

"When you think it's been nearly five months since I played a competitive game, it was great to get 60 minutes under my belt. I'll start to feel even better when I've had a few more games, but I feel good now. I will start to get my full match fitness and continue improving.

"I'm hoping to get to my top level, my peak fitness as soon as possible - and it's only with working hard in training and playing those minutes out there on the field in games that that will happen."

Settling into life on Merseyside off the field is perhaps just as important as to becoming accustomed to matters on it.

And while Traore has been putting his all into his first weeks at Finch Farm, he credits his new colleagues and the Everton fans with their warm welcome.

He added: "What I would like to say is that my teammates have been helping me an awful lot in training so that's why it's working well.

"The reception I got - I was really well received by the supporters. That worked in two positive ways for me.

"Firstly, it was a source of motivation, I tried really hard and it was a real lift to hear the fans.

"And secondly, it relaxed me at the same time because I knew I had the fans on my side behind me so it took away any pressure that there might have been in my first game.

"I've come to a good team with good players. I think we can go all the way, hopefully. We'll be fighting hard to get to the final in this competition and fighting hard in the league, because we want to get what we deserve from this season."

The Blues are next at Goodison on 1 March against West Ham United. Tickets are on general sale here.

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