Cenk Tosun has revealed his hunger to continue making key contributions for Everton after opening his Blues account for the 2020/21 campaign.
Tosun hit the opening goal in Everton’s 2-1 FA Cup third-round victory over Rotherham United on Saturday.
After a precision through pass from Anthony Gordon put him through on goal, the Turk showcased composure and finesse to delicately chip the ball over onrushing Rotherham goalkeeper Jamal Blackman and break the deadlock at Goodison Park.
While the away side levelled shortly after half-time, Tosun thought he had hit the winner on 86 minutes when he turned home James Rodriguez’s cross, only for his strike to be ruled out by VAR for offside.
Tosun – who was out of action for eight months during 2020 after undergoing cruciate ligament surgery – celebrated that effort by pointing to the sky, which he revealed was to “thank God for giving me a goal again after a big injury”.
Speaking to evertontv, Tosun added: “I am working well in training and when I go away with Turkey. I think I deserved the chance to play.
“It was an okay game for me. Slowly, I will build up physically as well, because it was a long time since I played that much.
“We played with extra-time – 120 minutes. I was tired. We have to recover well now.
“It’s always nice to score in Goodison. It is one of the nicest feelings I have ever had. It’s a bit different without the fans, but it is always nice to score here.
“For my goal, the pass was good timing from Anthony. I spoke with him before the game. I said, ‘When you have the ball, I’m going to run in behind’.
“That’s what he did [with his pass], and it was a good finish as well. But more important than my goal is that we went through to the next round of the FA Cup.”
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FERGUSON GIVES VERDICT ON CUP VICTORY
Tosun was frustrated to see his late effort ruled out by VAR by the narrowest of margins and explained his celebration for the disallowed goal after his long-term injury: “I pointed to the sky and thanked God. After a big injury, he gave me a goal again. I was thanking God."
Tosun’s effort being chalked off meant the teams remained level at 1-1 after 90 minutes.
Abdoulaye Doucoure eventually ensured Everton’s place in Monday night’s fourth-round FA Cup draw, however, with an accomplished finish three minutes into extra-time.
“We started the game well,” Tosun added. “In the first 15 minutes, we dominated the game, we played really well. Then we stopped playing until half-time.
“In the second half, we got better.
“And in extra-time, I think when Rotherham got a bit tired, we decided the game."
Everton’s focus now turns back to Premier League action. The Blues have four matches before the end of January, with a trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers next up on Tuesday night (8pm GMT).
Another away game follows at Aston Villa on Saturday, before successive Goodison clashes with Leicester City and Newcastle United.
“We have a tough game on Tuesday again [against Wolves],” Tosun said.
“We have to keep going.
“In the league, we are doing really well, and we need to try to keep going and stay high up in the table.”