Ross Happy On The Big Stage
Youngster says he relishes pressure of giant occasions.
Ross Barkley has admitted he's relishing the big stage after starring in his latest Goodison Park classic.
The midfielder, 20, was named as a substitute for Sunday's 3-0 defeat of Arsenal but ended up playing over 80 minutes after Leon Osman was struck by an early injury.
And the England World Cup hopeful says he is growing ever more comfortable when it comes to handling the big occasions.
Asked where the victory over the Gunners ranked among the wins he'd experienced so far, Barkley told evertontv: "That’s up there with the best. The fans enjoyed it and all the players on the pitch were brilliant.
"I’m always disappointed not to start but it’s a team game and I was sat on the bench watching. Ossie went off, I went on and I enjoyed it.
"I love the big games. You’ve got to step up and shine and show what you are capable of."
Following Sunday's success, Everton now sit just a point behind fourth-placed Arsenal with a game in-hand.
Saturday's trip to relegation-threatened Sunderland will provide a chance to edge one step closer to Champions League qualification and Barkley added: "We’ve got to go into the games now thinking we can get as many points as possible. We’ve done well on the pitch today [Sunday] and that can give us confidence going into the rest of the games.
"You can see that we are good enough to be in the top four. On our day we can beat anyone."
There are only two chances left to see Everton at Goodison Park this season, with the visit of Manchester United already a confirmed sell out.
Don't miss out on the games against Crystal Palace (Wednesday 16 April, 7.45pm) and Manchester City (Saturday 3 May, 5.30pm). Tickets for both fixtures are now on general sale and can be purchased online here or by calling 0871 663 1878*.
Alternatively, visit the Park End Box Office at Goodison Park, Everton Two in Liverpool One or TicketQuarter in Queen Square.