Dominic Calvert-Lewin is calling on Everton to summon last year’s terrific Goodison Park form – and get the Toffees’ campaign off the ground with victory over Sunderland on Wednesday night.
The Carabao Cup clash with the Black Cats marks the start of a run of four successive home games for the Blues, with a Europa League match against Apollon Limassol next Thursday sandwiched by Premier League visits from Bournemouth and Burnley.
And after Everton delivered an improved display in defeat at Manchester United on Sunday, Calvert-Lewin stressed the importance of focusing only on the challenges ahead.
Furthermore, the 20-year-old – a late substitute at Old Trafford – says there could be no better occasion to instigate an upturn in fortunes than a cup tie under lights at Goodison.
“We are all looking forward to the game, to putting the past couple of weeks behind us – and starting to look forward,” Calvert-Lewin told evertontv. “We can, hopefully, put in a good performance and put things right.
“If we can build on that first-half performance at Manchester United we won’t go too far wrong. There are still things we can add to that and bring to the table – and that will come the more we play with each other, but we definitely have a lot more to come.
“We showed our form at Goodison last year. It is a good place for us and, having the fans behind us, we showed we can make it a fortress.
“We will be looking to do that again this season and make it as hard as possible for teams to come to Goodison – and let them know they are in for a game when they come here.”
Sunderland brought in new manager Simon Grayson and a number of signings following relegation from the Premier League last season.
And Calvert-Lewin is taking no notice of the Black Cats' lowly position in the Championship. They have already recorded creditable results away from home, including winning at Norwich and earning draws on trips to Sheffield Wednesday and Hull.
But the Everton forward is nevertheless targeting the victory that would propel his team into the fourth round of the competition and act as a springboard for a busy couple of weeks.
“No matter who is in the team, we are all looking forward to the game,” said Calvert-Lewin. “It is our first game in the cup, so we will be looking to win the game and put in performances to stake a claim for the following league game.
“When you play a team from the division below, the pressure is off them and on us. Especially with it being at Goodison.
“But we will go into the game looking to win it. No matter how old you are, you want to win things as a footballer.
“We have a big focus on the league but an equally big focus on the cup and we will be looking to go as far as we can.
“It is a bit frustrating we have not managed to perform as well as we would have liked and everyone is looking to show what we can do.”