Keane Identifies Key Ingredient Needed To Ignite Campaign

Michael Keane says “leadership on the pitch” is key to Everton demonstrating their quality and turning around results.

The Blues host West Ham on Saturday targeting a victory to ignite their Premier League campaign.

Everton began the season on an encouraging note, claiming seven points from four games, but after a single-goal defeat at Burnley last time out – when Keane agreed with the popular view that his side’s display merited one point at least – Marco Silva’s team are keen to start making ground on the sides above them.

Everton have had the lion's share of possession and created more chances than their opponents in three of the Blues' past four games – the outlier being last month’s meeting with champions Manchester City – but not gained any tangible reward to reflect those numbers.

Centre-back Keane, then, is eyeing a return to the clinical mindset which reaped 28 points from 15 matches prior to the past four games.

“We all need to show a bit more leadership on the pitch and not let anything [adversely] affect our performances,” Keane told evertontv.

“We have to go into each game as if we’ve won three in a row and try to play with that confidence [of a winning side] because it’s the only way we will get back to our best.

“We’ve had a lot of chances and not put them away and conceded some silly goals.

“Things haven’t been falling our way, at the end of last season they’d all have been going in.

“But you can’t moan about it, you have to work your way through it.

“The only way we can get back to winning games is by working hard and showing everyone the quality we have.”

Keane, in common with a legion of his teammates, has spent a large proportion of the 10 days since facing Burnley away on international duty.

The majority will report to USM Finch Farm on Wednesday to start preparing for this weekend’s meeting with the Hammers.

Everton returned from a similar period of inactivity in February to finish 2018/19 like a juggernaut, winning six and drawing three of their final 11 games – scoring 18 goals and conceding only seven in the process.

Their bid to stitch together something comparable begins against West Ham, then moves on to trips to Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton, either side of a home clash with Tottenham Hotspur.

“As a team we will have discussions and meetings about how we’ll do things going forward, how we need to change our mentality to get back to winning ways,” continued Keane.

“We have done that a few times in the past when things haven’t been going well and it’s worked.

“We have to move on and focus and I will try to help re-energise the team when I’m back [from England duty].

"We defended well against Burnley and limited them to a few chances. It was frustrating to not get at least a draw.

“But we have to get on with it… do the basics well and work hard, then we will be fine.

“We have the belief we can beat any team on our day and we have to show that.”

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