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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Romelu Lukaku says he hopes to score the goals that fire Everton into Europe after marking his comeback with the winner against West Ham United on Saturday.

The Belgian striker was making his first appearance since damaging an ankle in January's Merseyside derby at Anfield and stepped off the bench to earn his side a 1-0 victory with a strike nine minutes from time.

A cool finish, it was the 20-year-old's 10th goal in Everton colours - a number he hopes to build on over the final third of the campaign.

"For a striker to get goals is very important and hopefully I'll get as as possible and as a team we'll end up as high as possible," said Lukaku. "To come back in this way, it couldn't be better; it can give me a lot of confidence.

"But the most important thing is that we won. A team needs confidence, every player individually needs confidence, but as a team we did well today and we have to keep on going like that."

The win left Everton nine points adrift of the top four but only two points behind fifth-placed Tottenham, who face Cardiff City on Sunday.

Roberto Martinez's men will have a game in hand over Spurs following their outing at White Hart Lane, while the Toffees can also look forward to an FA Cup quarter-final against another London outfit, Arsenal, in six days' time.

And Lukaku added: "Europe is still realistic. We know that our opponents are good sides but it's up to us. We have to look at ourselves and set our standards, keep a certain consistency in our games and then win as much as possible.

"We've got lots of challenges but we as players love challenges, our club loves challenges and it's up to us to deliver very good performances until the end of the season."

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EvertonLive

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  • Today, 12:36

    INJURY UPDATE: Baines to be assessed today ahead of #STOvEFC. Atsu to return to training on Friday. evertonfc.com/news/2015/03/0… #EFC

  • Today, 12:28

    RM: "I think Luke Garbutt showed against Arsenal the level of form he is at. We have a lot of quality and depth at left-back." #STOvEFC

  • Today, 12:27

    RM: It's been a learning curve for the demands of Europe and how they affect the league. It will really help our young players in the squad

  • Today, 12:25

    RM: "This game is a pivotal one. The final third of the season is here and we now have to treat each game as a final." #STOvEFC