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01:39 Mon 13 Jan 2020

Keane Explains Motivation For Clean Sheet Return

Michael Keane says “digging deep” to see off Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday will provide Everton with a timely psychological boost.

Defender Keane seized his own starting opportunity by helping Carlo Ancelotti’s team shutout their south coast opponents at Goodison Park.

Everton were the superior side for large portions of the contest and led from the 38th minute when Richarlison brilliantly converted his 10th goal of the campaign.

The hosts could not take any of a flood of opportunities to add to their advantage, though, and it was all hands to the deck in the closing 15 minutes as Brighton launched a late rally.

Everton held out as manager Ancelotti made a succession of changes to his personnel and formation to make it three wins from four under the Italian – and begin the healing process following a deflating FA Cup exit at Liverpool.

“It was edgy towards the end after the result last week and because of the way the game was going,” Keane told evertontv.

“We had to dig deep and we did that and stuck to our shape.

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01:59 Sat 11 Jan 2020

HIGHLIGHTS: EVERTON 1-0 BRIGHTON

Richarlison strike earns Toffees victory.


“We defended really well in general, they got lucky a couple of times to create chances and, luckily for us, did not take them.

“It was important to respond… we know we disappointed the fans and let ourselves down by not winning that game last week.

“We wanted a response and I think we started well and were unlucky to not be two or three ahead.

“They [opponents] will always put you under pressure if it’s 1-0 in the last 10 minutes. Brighton had a few chances but in general we dealt with their pressure very well.”

Keane has started 16 times in the Premier League this term but lost his regular spot after being in the team for the opening 10 matches.

The 27-year-old had featured once under Ancelotti before the weekend – in Everton’s 2-1 win at Newcastle United last month.

He sat out the Cup derby and was an unused substitute in the league game against Manchester City on New Year’s Day.

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02:11 Mon 13 Jan 2020

ANCELOTTI SALUTES 'COMPLETE FORWARD' RICHARLISON

Boss speaks to evertontv after Brighton win.


Keane, then, acknowledged it was vital to perform for his new boss at the weekend.

The Englishman shackled Brighton’s in-form striker Neal Maupay in an assured contribution, which included six clearances, three interceptions and two tackles.

Keane won all four of his duels and his 88 touches was more than any other player on the field.

He was the width of the crossbar from scoring, too, after heading towards goal following a corner from Lucas Digne after half-time.

Keane and his teammates now have a second clear week on the training ground with Ancelotti to prepare for Saturday's visit to West Ham United.

“I was really happy with the clean sheet,” added Keane.

“It is frustrating when you don’t play, that is the same for any footballer. You just want to play football.

“When you get your chance, it is important you take it. For me to do that and keep a clean sheet can only do me good.

“He [Ancelotti] wants me to bring the ball out a bit more before I pass it if I have space ahead, rather than playing two-touch all the time.

“It is stuff we are working on in training.

“It is not going to be perfect overnight but as long as we keep practising it will get better.”

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