Match-winner Gylfi Sigurdsson says keeping faith with the gameplan got Everton their just rewards against Cardiff City on Saturday.
The Toffees failed to breach their resilient visitors in a first half they dominated and had to wait until the 59th minute to break the deadlock when Sigurdsson pounced on a loose ball after Theo Walcott had seen his shot saved by Bluebirds goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.
The goal ultimately proved enough to secure a fourth straight Premier League home victory for Everton and the Club’s best home start in the competition since 2002-03.
Everton ended the contest having controlled 71 per cent of the possession and, despite moments of frustration and a let off when striker Callum Paterson headed over late on - Sigurdsson always had confidence the Blues would carve out a victory that lifts them to sixth in the table.
“It was similar to the Brighton game, when it was 01-1 at half-time,” said Sigurdsson, who came in for post-match praise from manager Marco Silva.
“We knew we had to be patient, keep playing the ball, passing it around and eventually we were going to get chances. One goal was enough today because we kept another clean sheet.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game. They are very hard to beat, they defend really well, and they are very dangerous when they have throw-ins and corners.
“They have got very strong players in the box, so I thought we dealt with it really well, especially near the end when they could have nicked a goal."
Alongside their mighty share of the play, Everton produced 522 passes to Cardiff’s 218, 26 crosses to their opponents' eight and mustered 16 attempts on goal to the visitors’ seven.
Saturday’s victory follows comfortable home successes over Fulham (3-0), Crystal Palace (2-0) and Brighton and Hove Albion (3-1), while Silva’s men also earned plaudits for their performance in taking a point at Chelsea in their outing immediately prior to the recent international break. Everton have claimed 16 points from 21 on offer after winning five and drawing one of their past seven matches.
It adds up to form Sigurdsson says is breeding confidence at just the right moment, with a trip across Stanley Park to face Liverpool next up in eight days' time.
“We’re looking forward to the next game,” said Sigurdsson, who netted in an FA Cup tie at Anfield last term.
“It is a very big game for us. We’re obviously happy with the last few weeks, we’ve managed to turn it around and put some good results together.
“And I think, not just the players, but the staff and the fans will be happy with the way we won today.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game to watch, but we got the three points, so we’ll go home happy.”