Stones Savours Fan Rapport
Defender wants to become a favourite with the Goodison fanbase.
John Stones wants to become a Goodison Park favourite for many years to come after scooping his first Everton man of the match accolade against Queens Park Rangers.
The teenager marked his FA Cup debut for the Club with a near-perfect display in Saturday’s 4-0 rout of the Championship outfit.
It was an unruffled, classy performance, typified by one first-half instance when a calculated slide tackle on Armand Traore earned a standing ovation from the home faithful.
The Blues fans enjoying hospitality were once again on their feet after the final whistle when Stones strode into the 1878 lounge at Goodison to collect his accolade.
“Hopefully I can become a big fans’ favourite here. I love the club to bits,” said the former Barnsley man when prompted on the rapport he has already formed with supporters.
“Hopefully I can get a few more games and play like that a bit more.”
Former Blue Andy Johnson also received a warm reception from the Goodison crowd when he was introduced by Harry Redknapp as a second-half substitute in Saturday’s tie.
But Johnson – along with fellow forwards Charlie Austin and Yossi Benayoun - had very little joy against Stones and centre-half partner Antolin Alcaraz.
The pair have conceded just one goal in their two outings together in defence, and Stones says he feels at home playing beside the Paraguay international.
“Antolin is a great footballer,” he said. “Everyone has seen that he is so calm on the ball and I think we have gelled quite well in both games we have played alongside each other.”
One of the main reasons for Stones’ popularity was his pre-season penalty against Juventus on the Club’s tour of America.
Nikica Jelavic attempted a similar effort at the weekend but struck the bar instead of the back of the net.
Stones joked that the Croatian would have completed his hat-trick if he had asked for a bit of advice.
“I didn’t teach him – if I had then it would have gone in,” he smiled. “I wanted it but I didn’t dare go over because I knew I would have been turned down!”
Watch Everton face Norwich City at the Junior Fans Day fixture this Saturday. Click here to buy tickets online, call 0871 6631878 or visit the Goodison Park Box Office, Everton Two or the TicketQuarter.