Yerry Mina says he is playing his best football since joining Everton – and his stellar early season form owes a huge deal to Marco Silva and the Club’s supporters.
Centre-back Mina was imperious in Everton’s 1-0 victory over Watford on Saturday, seven days after the Colombian’s towering display helped shut out Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
Mina showed glimpses in his debut Goodison Park campaign last term of the pedigree which convinced manager Silva to bring him from Barcelona 12 months ago.
A handful of niggling injury problems nevertheless prevented the 24-year-old from stringing together a run of games longer than the six he started on the spin following an impressive full debut in Everton's scoreless draw with Chelsea back in November.
Mina starred for his country at this summer’s Copa America – Colombia not conceding once in the tournament – and returned to Everton in rude health.
“I feel very good, the manager is working with me every day and giving me a lot of confidence," Mina told evertonfc.com.
“I am understanding more what he wants all the time and becoming more comfortable.
“This is my best football since I came to Everton but I have to keep my focus and always work to improve.”
Mina started his Blues career in earnest with a man-of-the-match display in that Stamford Bridge stalemate nine months ago.
He helped Everton record a clean sheet in his next match, too – a 1-0 success against Cardiff City.
Mina returned from a two-and-a-half month absence in March to play a starring role in Everton beating Chelsea 2-0 – one of a series of late-season games when the Goodison volume was dialled up to maximum.
Furthermore, it was the second of an ongoing run of six home matches in which Everton have not conceded a goal.
The Blues’ latest shutout required Mina and defensive partner Michael Keane to counter the physical threat of robust Watford striker Troy Deeney.
It was a challenge the South American tackled with some relish. Indeed, in Mina’s view, the combative nature of England’s top-flight is what sets it apart from any other league.
“The Premier League is very difficult every week, there is no team you can think of as being weak,” said Mina.
“A lot of the forwards are physical and there is no chance to rest during matches – no games when you can take it easy.
“Every team tries to win and this is the type of football any player wants to play.
“It is the main job of the goalkeeper and centre-backs to keep clean sheets – that is what we are working to achieve every day.
“But we know there is still much to improve.”
Mina is devoting a portion of his spare time to learning English and this interview is the first he has given in the language.
He has the words to express his thanks to Evertonians – both for backing him individually and for their huge and consistent support home and away since he joined.
“They are always behind me and the team,” added Mina.
“It is incredible to play in front of these supporters and a brilliant feeling to play at Goodison Park. The fans have been very good to me since I came to Everton and their support gives me a lot of confidence.”
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