Keane On Defining Month For Everton

There is no hiding from how crucial the next month is in shaping our season.

We have seven games in 27 days, that is 21 points up for grabs in no time. It is an opportunity to put together a stretch of good results and create momentum.

I am convinced we are one win from a positive run. The power of three points is incredible – that one victory changes everything. The mood improves among the players and staff and fans, it provides a huge boost and lifts confidence.

The point about confidence is really important. Clearly, it is not where we want it to be right now.

Our form over the past two months hasn’t been good enough. We’ve made too many mistakes, conceded some avoidable goals and not been clinical in the attacking third.

We have let the supporters down and that disappoints us all more than anything else.

The fans here are so passionate, more so than any others in the country, in my opinion.

When they are behind us, it is a huge advantage, it lifts us and drives us forward.

It has been tough for them lately and we all apologise for the recent results and performances.

But we need them to stick with us, to get behind us and help us get a result on Monday.

The players are hurting at the moment.

All the lads love this club and are working hard every day to get Everton back where we all think we belong.

Everyone of us holds our hands up to the fact we’ve not done ourselves justice of late. There is a lot quality in the squad, I say that with confidence because I see it every day.

Equally, nobody here disputes the fact that it’s no good just talking about our ability, we have to show it on the pitch.

What I can say for certain is that our form has nothing to do with the work ethic in our squad.

The intensity and effort in training every day is as high as anything I’ve known. 

We outrun the majority of our opponents – that was the case against Liverpool last week but we paid for a poor start and allowing mistakes to creep in.

Demarai’s goal got us back in the game, we had them under pressure and were getting in good areas and putting in crosses.

But any slip against a team with top-class players won’t go unpunished and their third goal changed the complexion of the match.

Michael Keane
The fans here are so passionate, more so than any others in the country, in my opinion. When they are behind us, it is a huge advantage, it lifts us and drives us forward.

We were all so disappointed and frustrated and are determined to put it right.

We’ve got ourselves in this position and it is up to us to get out of it.

When you are in a bad run, a clean sheet gives you something to build on, so that is what we are targeting.

You want to win any way you can, to try to be solid as a team and create the opportunity that makes the difference.

Every one of us is in it together, we know our potential and showed what we’re capable of earlier in the season. We must maintain the workrate, increase our quality and, if needs be, grind out a win, then take it from there.

The injuries have been a factor. Any team deprived of a number of key players would suffer.

We were missing five or six who were starters, or contenders to start.

Every day, the lads are closer to returning and they will give us a boost

Ideally, the next game after the derby would have come quicker. You want to move on, get points on the board and climb the table.

But we'll be fresher for the longer recovery time.

We had two good results against Arsenal last season and feel we can beat them on our day.

They are a good team, with some excellent players, and in pretty decent form.

But we think they won't enjoy coming to Goodison, it is a difficult place for teams when the fans are right behind us and we’re on our game.

We need to create another passionate atmosphere and, hopefully, get the win to kick us off on a good run.