Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson spoke of the need to continue momentum over the Christmas period after a hard-fought 1-0 away win over Newcastle United.
Rooney’s 10th goal of the season - a predatory strike from close-range midway through the first half - on his 100th Club appearance earned the Toffees their first win on the road of the campaign.
It also stretched the unbeaten run to five games in all competitions - conceding just one goal in the process - as the Blues consolidated their position in 10th in the Premier League table and went level on points with ninth-placed Watford.
And, speaking after the final whistle at St James’, both Rooney and Sigurdsson insisted everyone must remain focused over the busy festive period in order to fully turn around their disappointing start to this term.
“It was a tough game,” said Rooney, who netted his 15th career goal against the Magpies. “We’ve come here and, although Newcastle haven’t been on a great run of form, it’s always a difficult game, especially when you’re looking to pick up three points. We dug in, defended really well and made the most of the chances we had. We’re delighted and it’s a great win for us.
“I’ve scored quite a few goals here - it’s a ground I enjoy playing at. Thankfully today it’s got us three points.
“We know it’s a difficult period coming on, the Christmas period is always difficult. It’s challenging for all of the players. We have to look at these next few games over Christmas, try and get as many points as we can and see how we come out of it. If we come out of it in a higher league position than we are, then I’m sure we’ll reassess our goals for the end of the season.”
Sigurdsson, meanwhile, says confidence is now flowing in the dressing room after recent results.
“When you’re getting points and you’re getting wins, of course the mood in the dressing room and around the training ground is different,” he said. “It’s positive at the moment - and that’s how we like it.
“Hopefully we’re turning the corner. Obviously, we’ve had a good few results over the past few weeks. Hopefully things are moving in the right direction and we need to build on it now over Christmas.”