Seamus Coleman knows that any deviation away from solely focusing on Sunderland could harm Everton’s chances of picking up three vital points.
The Blues welcome the Premier League’s bottom club looking to maintain their eight-match unbeaten league run and keep their place at the top of the division’s form table.
But the Black Cats will be looking to bounce back from a 4-0 home defeat against Southampton when they travel to Merseyside, and spent last week away on a training camp in New York.
However, having enjoyed a similar stint in Dubai, Coleman says the Toffees are ready to resume their campaign.
“It’s the boring answer but you can only focus on the next game,” he told evertonfc.com
. “If you look too far ahead at a run of games and try to imagine where you could be in the table, you take your eye off the ball and you’ll get punished for that.
“We’re focused on Sunderland. We know they’ll be fighting for their lives, especially after the result they had last time out and we need to be ready for them.
“We would have liked to go into the break with a win [against Middlesbrough], but it was important we didn’t lose. We have worked hard in Dubai and we’ll continue to prepare for the next game this week.”