Gana Confident He Can Contribute More Goals

by Paul McNamara
@Everton

Everton midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye says he has the “energy and capacity” to score more goals for the Blues.

Senegalese Gueye strode onto a clever cutback from Leighton Baines to drive past Jonas Lossl and seal the Blues’ 2-0 victory at Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

Cenk Tosun had broken the deadlock in West Yorkshire, the Turkey international striker drilling clinically across Terriers goalkeeper Lossl after being released by Theo Walcott six minutes before the break.

Everton have claimed 14 points from the past 21 available – winning four and drawing two of seven games, with the lone defeat coming against champions Manchester City – and are undefeated in three matches away from home.

Added to that, since the Blues' 2-0 win over Huddersfield at Goodison on 2 December, their form has been the sixth best in the Premier League, behind the current top five of City, Liverpool, Spurs, Manchester and Chelsea.

Furthermore, a settled back four, protected by Gana and engine-room ally Morgan Schneiderlin, has helped Everton record three clean sheets in their past four games.

The effervescent Gana – whose 113 top-flight tackles this term is second only to the 138 completed by Wilfred Ndidi of Leicester City – had most recently found the net on the Toffees’ trip to Bournemouth back in December.

The 28-year-old, who is set to represent his country at this summer's World Cup finals in Russia, struck once in the Premier League last term – in the 2-0 home success over Sunderland – but revealed he had resolved to strike against Huddersfield after a half-time conversation with substitute Cuco Martina – who Gueye made an instant beeline for following his 77th-minute effort.

“Everyone tells me I have to go forward more because I have the energy and capacity to score more goals like this," Gana told evertonfc.com.

“In midfield we know it is not just about defending now, we have to pass and give assists – and go into the box and score goals.

“That is why I try to go forward more and I am happy – happy for the win and the team. Congratulations to all the team and I was happy to score my second league goal.

“I had a lot of opportunities (to break forward) in the first half but did not take them.

“At half-time Cuco said to me, ‘You have to score my friend because you have the opportunities’. I said, ‘If I score I will come to see you’. I took my chance and was delighted to score.”

Everton were confronted by a Huddersfield team which is involved in a scrap to retain its Premier League status following promotion from the Championship last term.

A frantic game was in the balance and chances at a premium when January signings Walcott and Tosun combined brilliantly to earn their team the advantage.

England international Walcott demonstrated fantastic balance and vision to escape a tight spot and thread a pass for former Besiktas hitman Tosun, who left defender Christopher Schindler standing before defeating Lossl with a precise, low finish.

Gana identified Tosun's fifth Everton goal as the decisive point in the match and underlined the importance to his side of carrying their productive form into the season’s final two fixtures.

Southampton visit Goodison Park next Saturday, with a trip to the London Stadium to face West Ham United on 13 May completing the campaign.

“It was a hard moment in the game for us (before Tosun's goal) because Huddersfield attacked very well and after Theo made the pass for Cenk he scored," added Gana. "They both helped us be more comfortable and start playing well.

“Like I said before the game, we need to fight and continue to improve before the end of the season. It will be good for our confidence for next season. We played well and deserved the win.”

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