Oumar Niasse says Everton intend to “finish the season properly” - starting with the visit of Crystal Palace to Goodison Park on Saturday.
The Senegalese frontman has started the Toffees’ past two games against Leicester City and Arsenal and pointed to the 2-1 win over the Foxes as the benchmark to return to winning ways and build a run of results.
That starts with a weekend clash against Roy Hodgson’s Eagles, the team Niasse enjoyed a fine afternoon against at Selhurst Park in the reverse fixture back in November, winning a penalty and scoring himself as the Blues twice came from behind to earn a point.
The 27-year-old is eyeing an even better result now that the Toffees boast a stronger squad after the January arrivals of Cenk Tosun, Theo Walcott and Eliaquim Mangala, plus the return of a number of players from injury.
“We are going to finish the season properly,” he said. “We will not give Palace anything. We want to try to get our three points.
“I was in a good moment at that time [when we played at Palace]. I was getting fit, and my confidence was coming back. That game is me when I am fit and confident – I play that type of game every time.
“At Palace it was my second game in a row and I was feeling good. I can take some good things from that game.
“They played well on that day but now we are in a better position. We have had good players come in like Theo, Cenk and Manga (Mangala). Seamus Coleman is back and played a very good game against Leicester. Ramiro Funes Mori and Leighton Baines will come back soon and join the guys as well.
“This is another game at home. I want to keep going and get my fitness and confidence back – hopefully I will have a better game than I did at Selhurst Park.”
Niasse admits he should have taken the two chances that fell his way in his last Goodison outing against the Foxes. Ultimately, it was Walcott’s double that earned the hosts the victory.
However, the striker is confident that with the array of attacking talent in the side behind him, it won’t be long until he is back on the scoresheet.
“I am just doing what I always try to do, which is work hard every day – at training and in the matches,” he added.
“Sometimes you get a chance and you will score, other times it does not happen.
“Against Leicester I missed two very good chances but that is part of the game. As a striker you must know how to handle it if you miss an opportunity. You have to keep going, playing your game, and playing well.
“Every time I play I am trying to help the team and the Club to be better – and to progress myself.
“With Wayne Rooney playing behind [me] it is good. He knows the league, he reads the game so well and he plays the right passes.
“Theo’s pace is going to help the team and Gylfi’s passing is good; everything he does on the pitch is smart.
“Any striker who plays with these guys, you are going to cause defences a lot of problems because their movement and their brand of football is so intelligent.”