Calvert-Lewin: Goals Will Take My Game To Next Level

by Paul McNamara

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin is ready to "take his game to the next level" by improving his goalscoring record.

The 20-year-old struck twice in Everton’s Carabao Cup victory over Sunderland last month and was also on target against MFK Ruzomberok in the Toffees’ early-season Europa League qualifying tie with the Slovakians.

The England Under-21 international had chances to add to his season’s tally during Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Brighton, where he once again showed his versatility by being deployed wide on the left following three recent outings as a central striker.

Calvert-Lewin headed straight at Mat Ryan after meeting an inswinging cross from Nikola Vlasic on 54 minutes and, 20 minutes later, Ryan was again able to bail his side out of trouble when Wayne Rooney’s sumptuous delivery found Calvert-Lewin in front of goal but shooting without sufficient power or precision to defeat the Albion keeper.

Further opportunities came and went for the Blues at the Amex Stadium, including two in rapid succession for Kevin Mirallas after Rooney’s last-gasp penalty had equalised Anthony Knockaert’s 82nd-minute strike.

“It was frustrating when we'd had a lot of the ball and had chances – and I should have scored – that Brighton went and nicked one,” Calvert-Lewin told evertontv.

“At times like that you have to stick together, show your character and dig deep. And we got the equaliser, then almost nicked it.

“I was playing back out wide. I had a couple of chances and was a bit frustrated not to score.

"I am getting a lot of chances in games. I want to take myself to the next level now and I need to start putting those away. But I effected the game a little bit from out wide and, ultimately, we got the point.”

In addition to leading Everton's line against Sunderland, Calvert-Lewin operated as a centre-forward in the 2-1 victory over Bournemouth and was then paired with Oumar Niasse in a Toffees striking duo for the defeat by Burnley which preceded the international break.

The former Sheffield United player was a forceful presence on Everton's left flank at Brighton, hugging his touchline and frequently surging forward in an attempt to break down a charged-up home side.

He set up a late half-chance for Niasse and had an enormous hand in his team's equaliser when he was felled in the box by defender Bruno’s elbow to earn the penalty that was coolly dispatched by Rooney.

Calvert-Lewin was nevertheless left nursing a feeling of ‘what might have been’ after Everton’s late rally in search of a winner came to nothing – albeit he insists his side can carry the impetus from their strong finish to the game on the south coast into forthcoming matches with Lyon and Arsenal.

“I see Wayne practising penalties after every training session, so I was confident with him over the ball that he would put it away,” said Calvert-Lewin.

“We then ran out of time a little bit. The momentum was with us after the equaliser and we were trying to get the winner – we stuck at it and were unlucky not to take the three points.

"It was a bit of a chaotic end to the game and we almost nicked it. We had chances and they had chances. We wanted to win the game but, away from home, we will take the point.

“We showed more character than we have in recent weeks to dig in late in the game and we will take that into the next one. We are creating chances and it is just a matter of putting them away now.”

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