Williams: This Game Is Extra Special For Me

Monday night will be a little extra special for Ashley Williams - but that will not detract from his desire to help Everton gain three more points against Swansea City.

The Blues defender faces his former club – with whom he made 352 appearances during an eight-year spell – at Goodison Park as Sam Allardyce’s men look to extend their unbeaten run to six games.

Williams enjoyed plenty of highs while a Swan, captaining the side and playing a crucial role in their rise from League One to the Premier League.

Now into his second season at Everton, coupled with the changeover in playing staff at the Liberty Stadium, the occasion is not as peculiar as it once was. But although Williams admits the fixture is one he still looks out for first, he is eager to continue Everton's - and his - fine form against the Welsh club.

“I don’t think it will be so emotional this season,” he said. “It was last season. It felt weird on both occasions we played them, a little bit strange because I’d played in the white kit for so long and I was facing them with players like Gylfi Sigurdsson and a lot of my friends still there.

“It will be a little bit different this year because I don’t know as many of the guys so I’m sure it won’t be such a strange feeling as it was last year.

“That being said, the game is a little bit more important to me, I would be lying I said it wasn’t. You always want to play against your old teams and it’s a fixture you always look for.

“I have been looking forward to this one and it will be nice to see old faces and old friends. It is a game we want to win and to keep a clean sheet in, especially at home, in order to keep our momentum going.”

Having picked up wins over West Ham, Huddersfield Town, Apollon Limassol and Newcastle United, plus the draw at Anfield against Liverpool, the Toffees are in  impressive form going into Monday’s fixture at Goodison Park.

Williams himself has excelled in the heart of a mean defence under Allardyce, conceding just a single goal in those five matches. That run of results has seen them hold firm in the top 10, with the Blues nine points off the top six, but Williams insists it is too early to set any kind of end-of-season targets just yet.

“We have had a good run and we want to maintain that,” he added. “We are not going to be saying that ‘we want to get to here, or do this’.

“It is about shortening the season into smaller blocks and then going even shorter than that, looking at the next game and focusing on that to keep the momentum going.”

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