Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to Goodison Park.
First of all, on behalf of all the players, I hope you and your families are safe and well during this latest period of lockdown.
The situation is incredibly challenging for everyone and all we can do is look after each other and keep obeying the rules and guidelines that are laid out for us.
As footballers, we are seen as role models and, as such, we need to set an example and behave in a totally responsible way, regardless of the frustrations that come with this current situation.
Life isn’t easy at the moment but I am sure football is providing a release for a lot of people and so we need to do everything we can to make sure it continues.
I have always loved the FA Cup, ever since I was a small boy in Ireland watching the games on the television. It’s a special competition and one that I am so desperate to do well in.
Part of the magic of the Cup is the fact that anything is possible.
Fans love to see the under-dog come out on top and any team can suffer at the hands of an opponent from a lower division.
That’s why we have to make sure we have the right mentality this afternoon and that we are totally focused on trying to get through to the next round.
Rotherham United will be looking forward to this game. They will come here determined to show everyone watching on television what they are all about.
We will be treating them with the respect they deserve and we know we will have to be right on our mettle from the first whistle.
For one reason or another, Rotherham have played only one game in the last three weeks, whereas we have played four in the same period.
This is the start of yet another busy week for us, with three games in eight days, and every member of the squad has to make sure he is fully prepared for action.
It’s a vitally important week for us all. At the time of writing, we are four points off the top of the Premier League table and if that position in January had been offered to us at the start of the season, we would gladly have taken it.
Stay safe everyone – we WILL get through all of this, but it won’t be easy and we have to continue to do what’s right.
All the best,