Steven Naismith has revealed the main ingredient in Everton’s winning formula – an unbreakable team ethic.
The Blues cooked up a sixth successive league victory on Sunday after dismantling Arsenal 3-0 – a 90-minute display which Naismith felt was a microcosm of what the Club has represented this season.
Backed by sell-out support at a rocking Goodison Park, Roberto Martinez masterminded a win which put Everton to within one point of the Champions League qualification places.
The Toffees netted three times for the fourth successive match, while the Gunners were blunted by a stubborn defensive display – the 12th shut-out kept by Tim Howard and Co in the top flight this season.
Naismith’s contribution earned him his second consecutive man of the match accolade.
But the forward – for the aforementioned reasons – was keen to play down the personal plaudits.
He told evertontv: “This season we have had a fair few good performances but I think, overall, the clean sheet and the way we played was great.
“It’s testament to the manager for the way he has got us playing. The transition from last season has been flawless and long may it continue.
“Overall, it was about the full game – we got the first goal and then managed to follow it up with two more, and then there was Tim at the end making a good save from Oxlade-Chamberlain and tipping it on to the bar.
“It’s a team thing and throughout the season that has shown. There are no individuals that are bigger than anyone else at the Club.
“It’s a great club to be at and hopefully that will carry on to the end of this season and into next.”
Naismith has now scored nine goals in all competitions this season, six of which have arrived since the turn of the year.
“The manager has played me more centrally in the second half of the season and it's where I feel more comfortable,” added the former Rangers man.
“He gives you the freedom to go and play. Last week when I came on that showed because he just said for me to get in the spaces and make things happen.
“When the manager gives you that freedom and he trusts you, it makes you feel good. Thankfully over the last two games I have been able to score a couple of goals and reward him.”
At 3-0 on Sunday, the ‘oles’ rang out around Goodison as Everton passed their north London opponents off the park.
There were more cheers too as Seamus Coleman twice produced moments of trickery more akin to flamboyant Brazilian full-backs Roberto Carlos and Cafu.
“Seamus has been magnificent all season,” Naismith said about his teammate’s antics. “But I don’t think he was doing it to showboat – it was just the way the ball came to him.
“He’s done things off the cuff and it has worked so many times – even the Cruyff turn .
“I might have to ask him how he does it!”
Tickets for Manchester United's visit to Goodison have sold out - make sure you cheer on the Blues against Crystal Palace and Manchester City.
Book your seat online by clicking here or by calling 0871 663 1878*.
Alternatively, visit the Park End Box Office at Goodison Park, Everton Two in Liverpool One or TicketQuarter in Queen Square.
Free via SkypeYou'll need Skype Credit