Seamus Coleman says Everton's players “owe it to the fans” to produce a strong finish to the season - and he is relishing the opportunity to shine under the lights at Goodison Park on Monday night.
In-form Newcastle United are the visitors to L4 and Coleman insists the Blues are determined to secure victory and produce a performance that excites the supporters.
The Magpies have won their past four Premier League matches but the Republic of Ireland skipper believes Everton possess the quality to triumph against Rafael Benitez’s side and continue their excellent home form.
Everton have taken 24 points from their past 36 available at Goodison – a run of results which has helped the Blues rise to ninth in the table, having been two points off the relegation zone in late October.
Coleman says there is no danger of complacency setting in as the Toffees enter the final throws of the season, with professional pride and a will to reward Everton’s loyal support driving the players on.
“We owe it to the fans to finish the season as well as we can,” said the defender. “We want to finish strong, be professional and get as many points as we can. We want to give the fans something, to finish the season on a high.
“Our form has been good at home. Over the years, Goodison has been a tough place for teams to come. For any team to do well, your home form has got to be good and ours has been – we’re looking forward to keeping that going against Newcastle.”
The Blues drew at Swansea City last time out, with Coleman coming agonisingly close to getting on the scoresheet with the game at 1-1. The full-back’s thumping volley from Cenk Tosun’s cross cannoned off the crossbar with just a quarter of an hour left.
Coleman says he was frustrated the Toffees could not emerge from south Wales with all three points and – as the Irishman awaits his first goal since his return from injury – admits he is eager to find the back of the net soon.
“We would have liked to have seen the Swansea game out,” he said. “I was disappointed with my clearance for their goal but I could’ve nicked it myself at the end with that chance and got myself out of trouble.
“I didn’t think I’d connect with the cross, to be honest – I was lunging at it – but I’ve got a full foot on it. On another day it goes in but there’s a few games left so hopefully there’ll be a goal coming soon.”
After 10 months out of action with a double-leg break, Coleman made his Everton first-team comeback in the 2-1 win over Leicester City on 31 January.
On an emotional night at Goodison Park, the right-back played the full 95 minutes and showcased the power, energy and commitment that has made him such a fans’ favourite at the Club.
The 29-year-old – who has racked up 255 appearances for the Blues since signing from Sligo Rovers in 2009 – said the rousing reception offered to him that night was “was something that will stay with me for a long time”.
He is now relishing another game under the Goodison floodlights and says the players are eager to serve up a performance that will excite the supporters.
“We want to make sure we go in there full of confidence and give the fans something to get behind,” he said. “Under the lights the fans can get right behind us but it’s up to us to dictate that and start on the front foot
“Newcastle will be a tough game, like they all are in the Premier League. But my favourite type of games are at Goodison under the lights, so I’m really looking forward to it.”