Leighton Baines is looking forward to showing Sam Allardyce what he can do once he has recovered from his calf injury.
The left-back has not been involved since being replaced by Ashley Williams after 27 minutes in the defeat at Southampton at the end of November.
Since he has been out, Sam Allardyce has taken over the Everton helm and Baines is working hard to return to action as soon as possible in order to prove himself under the former Crystal Palace and England boss.
“There is a new manager to impress and I have not had the opportunity to train under him or be a part of it at all since he has come in,” said Baines.
“That’s always nice in some respects because you have that little bit more to prove as he doesn’t know you.
“Hopefully I can get back into training soon and when I do, I hope to be reasonable enough shape to do myself justice.
“It is always an interesting time when you are out, I find, because your focus is so much on football when you are playing and I schedule my life around it. When you haven’t got games, it’s not as necessary to go and recover from a training session or a match so it changes the structure of your life.
“But at the moment, the workload is big and I have got to recover from the sessions. My diet is always important but particularly when you are out injured and you can’t train you have to pay close attention to that.
“But it is almost like muscle memory – I am reverting back to that regime I have had for the last 15 years or whatever it has been.”
Baines knows how to deal with the frustration of sitting out matches while injured and what it takes to ensure he is back in the right condition to force his way back into the side.
It can be, however, a lonely road at times.
“The lads have obviously helped but when you are injured, it is a bit solitary,” he added. “You are in and around the place but you are on a different schedule. Sometimes you are in when everyone else is off, or your day off might fall on when everyone is in. That’s the way it works and your focus is just on getting back fit.
“Earlier in my career it was harder to keep sprits up because it had never happened before and it was a new experience. Your life – everything - revolves around football.
“But over the course of time, and you have a few more injuries and you learn how to deal with it a bit better. You turn to your family.
“It is never easy and never nice, but you come to terms with the fact that it has happened. You can’t change it so you just move forward with what you are going to do to make yourself better.”