Idrissa Gana Gueye says the enthusiastic backing of Everton supporters has given him added belief and helped to inspire his dynamic displays.
The Senegalese has been in impressive form for the Blues this season, delivering a series of all-action performances in the middle of the park.
No player in the Premier League has won more tackles than Gana’s 126, with his well-timed challenges regularly helping Marco Silva's men recover possession and mount attacks.
His quality on the ball has been evident, too, with Gana consistently feeding the Toffees’ talented forwards with sharp, accurate passes. The 29-year-old boasts a pass success rate of 83.9 per cent over the course of the current campaign.
Gana says a strong team ethic and fierce desire to succeed are the driving factors behind his performances. He added how the support he has received from Evertonians since signing for the Club from Aston Villa in 2016 has inspired him to reach peak form.
“Sometimes you can hear them [the fans cheering] when you make a good tackle,” he said.
“Sometimes when I go out after the game some fans come to me and say, 'We love you because you’re a hard worker and you are tackling everywhere'.
"So I’m happy to hear that. When some stats come out about me, like when it says I am top of the tackling standings, it is a good stat for me.
“But the most important thing is to try to help my team to win every game.”
Gana’s attention is now on helping the Blues kickstart a strong finish to the season with a win over sixth-placed Manchester United at Goodison Park on Sunday (1.30pm).
Everton saw a run of three straight top-flight victories halted at Fulham last weekend, but Silva’s team remain within striking distance of seventh place in the Premier League.
Gana is hoping for another rousing atmosphere at the Grand Old Lady, with the Blues aiming to continue their fine form on home turf. Everton have taken seven points from their past three matches at Goodison – following up a 0-0 draw with city rivals Liverpool with victories over Chelsea and Arsenal.
The Senegal international, who has won 63 caps for his country, says he is relishing the chance to go toe-to-toe with another top-six team in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United.
“Now we must aim to get back to that level.
“It will be a tough game against United, but we are just focussed on our team.
“We play at home and everyone knows it is hard for opposing team to come here and win.
“We will try our best to keep our good run at Goodison.”