Forwards Can Fire Toffees Up Table, Says Keane

by Peter Lennox
@Everton

The wealth of attacking talent at Sam Allardyce’s disposal can help fire Everton up the table, according to centre-back Michael Keane.

The England defender says the onus is on the Toffees backline to remain solid, and set a platform for the forwards to do the damage at the other end of the pitch.

Keane also hailed the impact of January signing Theo Walcott, who he says has given the Blues a new dimension in attack.

The former Arsenal winger has netted twice and provided one assist since arriving at Goodison Park.

“Theo has been a brilliant addition since he has come in and added a lot of pace and dribbling ability – and a lot of quality as well,” Keane said.

“Gylfi [Sigurdsson] has been first class, and Oumar [Niasse], too. And think about the players we have coming off the bench as well.

“We are looking very good going forward. We need to make sure we stay solid at the back and things are looking bright.”

Sigurdsson’s sixth goal of the season set Everton on their way against Crystal Palace last Saturday, and Keane says the Icelandic ace offers the Blues quality and consistency.


It was the 28-year-old's 17th Premier League goal scored from outside the box - more than any other player in the competition since January 2012. 

“He has got a few important goals this season,” said Keane. “He has been a fantastic player for us. He has so much quality and is someone you can always trust to put in a good performance week in, week out."

Niasse’s goal threat and tireless effort also earned Keane’s praise, and he says the Senegal international offers defenders no let up – even on the training pitch.

“He never gives in and never stops running,” he added. “And he got the goal he deserved against Palace. He is a nightmare to play against – I know that from Finch Farm.”

Keane is now optimistic about Everton’s prospects for the rest of the season, and has set his sights on a seventh-place finish that seemed so unlikely before Allardyce’s arrival in November.

The Blues were just two points off the relegation zone when Allardyce watched Everton beat West Ham United 4-0 prior to his appointment but they are now only two points behind Keane’s former club Burnley in seventh.

Everton face the Clarets at Turf Moor after next weekend's trip to Watford, and Keane added: “That [seventh] is there for us to take. There is a lot of football left to play but there is no reason why we can’t do it."

“We are in good form at the minute, especially at home. We are looking really good so long may that continue.”

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