Digne: I Believe In Everton

Lucas, Everton have made a positive start to the season under Rafa Benitez. What are your early thoughts on the new manager?

He is passionate about football and you can feel how much he loves his job.

He reads the game very well and during the matches gives his advice on what he sees.  

He likes using videos to explain what we have to do in games and it is perfect for us.

When I was playing in Italy [for Roma in 2015/16], it was the same.

He loves to explain your position, more or less like a teacher – and wants to transmit his passion to the players.

It is a new season, a new start and a new manager.

We have to work hard and I think we are improving every day with Rafa.

Everton began the season in front of a full house at Goodison Park and overturned a one-goal deficit to beat Southampton...

I felt like a kid playing in front of our fans again.

Everybody was waiting for this moment, it is real football and just amazing.

I am confident our home form will be much better this season – Goodison has the best atmosphere in the Premier League.

Maybe last year, we would have lost against Southampton after conceding the goal but we reacted well.

At the end of last season, the players spoke together and said we have to work very hard in the summer and pre-season to prepare in the best way possible.

We had to react and do better and I think we are showing this, everybody had the same idea and we wanted to show another face.

We are more compact and solid and the spirit in training and games is really good.

This is your fourth season with Everton and earlier this year you signed a fresh five-year contract – you clearly have a lot of faith in the Club’s ambition?

I believe in the project of Everton, if I didn’t I wouldn’t have re-signed.

I believe in the Club and am sure it can grow quickly.

We have quality inside the team and have to show that on the pitch.

It is just the beginning, last season we started well but finished 10th, which wasn’t our goal.

But now we have started well and want to keep going the same way.

For three years, I have been in England and I am so happy.

I am a more complete player than when I arrived and have to push every year to continue improving.

Lucas Digne
I believe in the Club and am sure it can grow quickly. We have quality inside the team and have to show that on the pitch.

What is the objective this season – and can Everton compete for a top-four place in the longer term?

We have to do better than last season, to show another face and finish in a higher position.

We have quality but we have to show it on the pitch and not talk too much.

What we do in the matches can speak for us and we will see at the end.

It is tough to compete with the top four, they spend a lot of money on big players.

But you don’t buy spirit and you have to build something.

When you want to build a group, a family, you can’t buy everything.

Maybe, we have to fight using our qualities.

We started building last year and showed the unity and fighting spirit – but, in some games, we lost those qualities.

You have to play with the same intensity against every team and prepare for every game in the same way.

We have more confidence than last season and have to show it all the way through, not just at the beginning.

You go to Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday and will need to play very well to extend your unbeaten start?

It is a hard game, they started well and took six points from six. Brighton are organised and play excellent football.

But we have a good team, we have to show that and fight for the badge and for our club.

We have to show a winning mentality.