Alex Iwobi says Everton will approach Wednesday’s Carabao Cup last-16 tie against West Ham United with sky-high confidence following a perfect start to the season, as he declared his hunger to seize every opportunity to shine for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
Iwobi also backed Toffees teammate Dominic Calvert-Lewin for a first senior England call-up in recognition of his blistering start to the campaign.
Everton head into the Goodison Park clash have won their opening five matches of the 2020/21 campaign. The in-form Blues have scored 16 goals over the course of those games, conceding just five.
Iwobi, who missed the opening two fixtures of the season with a minor injury, impressed on his maiden start this term as the Blues beat Fleetwood Town in the previous round of the cup.
The former Arsenal man slotted in Everton’s third goal of the night and provided a superb backheeled assist for Brazilian attacker Richarlison.
Iwobi - who grew up in “West Ham territory” in east London and trained with the Hammers as a youngster - described the positive atmosphere permeating through the Everton squad at present.
“We have a lot of belief in the team right now,” he told evertonfc.com.
“We have that mentality that we can go into games and win – it’s a good feeling to have.
“West Ham will be a good test and a good challenge, but we’re feeling very confident. And it’s a London thing for me, so I want to beat them!
“Before this season, we had that ambition – when you enter a competition, you do your best to try to win it.
“Every day we come into training, everybody wants to win, everybody wants to work hard.
“We carry that onto matchdays. Whether it’s the starting XI or the players on the bench, everyone is together.
“You can see a lot of happy faces in the training ground. We’re excited to come in and want to improve further.
“If it’s in matches, in training, everyone is eager to impress the manager. Every player wants to play as much as we can.
“If I do play [against West Ham], it’s another opportunity. We don’t know the team yet but, if I do get the chance, myself and the other players will do our best to impress the boss and do everything to get the win.”
Striker Calvert-Lewin has spearheaded Everton’s expressive attacking performances this season and sits top of the Premier League goalscoring charts, having struck five times in the Blues’ opening three top-flight games.
Iwobi also highlighted the progression of the 23-year-old’s all-round centre-forward play and believes Calvert-Lewin has a strong chance of being named in boss Gareth Southgate's England squad when it is announced later this week.
The Three Lions have three matches during the upcoming international break, with a friendly against Wales followed by Nations League clashes with Belgium and Denmark.
“I think Dominic can be getting in the England squad very soon, because five goals in the first three Premier League games is very impressive,” said Iwobi.
“If we’re going on form, I feel he should be competing for a spot there.
“Strikers get recognised for goals but he is also able to hold off big defenders. He wins a lot of aerial battles.
“He does a lot for the team and we really appreciate what he does.
“People forget he is actually very young. He has got a lot of time on his hands.
“He works very hard every day in training. He is very, very professional in what he does.
“We’re happy for him and hopefully he continues this way for the rest of the season. We’re going to do our best to get him as many goals as we can.
“If he gets the call-up, he’ll want to get that feeling [of playing for England] as much as he can. It will do him the world of good.”
In the week leading up to the start of the 2020/21 season, Everton manager Ancelotti bolstered his squad with three high-calibre additions in superstar attacker James Rodriguez and central midfield duo Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure.
Iwobi explained how each have made hugely positive impressions on and off the field and swiftly settled into the Club’s “family” environment.
“We’ve had enough time to gel together,” he said.
“The new players have really been welcomed in properly. They are enjoying their time here. It just shows, we’re one big family.
“You look at Allan and he can’t speak the most English at the moment, but we’re still able to talk to him – it’s great for us.
“You can see their quality when they’re playing. And we see it in training every day – it still amazes me.
“Really, it’s amazing to see in training, let alone in matches.
"They are helping us as a team and, with the experience they’ve got, they’re helping other players.
"I’m still learning from each player.
“It’s just a shame fans aren’t there to appreciate them in the stadium.
“We’d love to feel that love and support in the ground again.
“When they’re back, I’m sure they’ll enjoy it.”