We reach the midpoint of our Premier League campaign against Norwich City on Saturday and the aim is to create a springboard for the second half of the season.
Our position is way off where we want to finish, we’ve dropped far too many points and there is a collective determination to show what we are capable of over the coming months.
There is nothing we can do about what has gone – save for analysing why certain things haven’t worked out – but it is in our power to influence what happens between now and our last game against Arsenal on 22 May.
We can take confidence from coming out on the right side of the match at Hull last week. It was easy to look at the fixture on paper and expect a straightforward evening. But taking that view would have been as good as dismissing the history of the FA Cup.
Supposed favourites come unstuck all the time and it happened to a couple of Premier League clubs in round three.
Our performance wasn’t perfect by any stretch but we fought hard and delivered a few moments of real quality to make the difference. It is imperative now that we channel that winning feeling into securing a positive result at Norwich.
Players returning from injury provides another boost. Andros came back from his layoff last week and was the matchwinner. Suddenly, the manager has more options for his team and bench.
Clearly, we missed Dominic Calvert-Lewin tremendously while he was out.
I was asked in an interview this week about the most difficult striker to face in the Premier League. Ultimately, I plumped for Dom. He is fast and strong and jumps like a basketball player. And on top of all those things, he scores a lot of goals.
I imagine defenders across the division don’t enjoy their battles with him at all and he can have a huge say in the rest of our season.
We’re adding players, too.
Vitalli and Nathan have settled in very well, they are great lads and it already feels like they’ve been around a long while.
They both have excellent attitudes and work hard and want to improve every day. They are young and fresh and willing to learn. ‘Myko’ is solid defensively and gets forward when he can. We’ve seen in training that he has a very good delivery and is capable of chipping in with assists.
Nathan has bags of energy, he gets up and down the pitch and is effective at both ends of the field.
We got a first glimpse of Anwar in training in the latter part of this week and I was really impressed by his workrate and ability on the ball.
New faces always energise the place, they add different voices and personalities and increase competition.
It is incredible to think I’ve already been with Everton more than a year and passed 50 games.
Everton is a great club, a massive club, I was welcomed so warmly and felt at home from the first day.
I have enjoyed everything about being here, even the difficult moments. You have to accept those in football and challenge yourself to react and emerge better for them.
It takes time for a manager to implement his style at a new club. Rafa is working to get his ideas across and the lads are taking to everything he asks and will graft for him.
He is a good guy and extremely hard working and his CV is very impressive. As a young player, having a manager who has achieved what he has is huge and I can learn so much from him.
Going back to Norwich is special for me. It is my birthday, too. The ideal outcome is three points, my first Everton goal – which is well overdue – and a slice of cake to celebrate.
But we are under no illusions about how tricky this will be – Norwich will fight until the last day of the season and we have to perform to pick up points.
Concentration will be vital, they are a possession-based side and try to move you about the pitch to create spaces to punish you.
Norwich is a family club and were integral to my development. I went there at 18 and stayed for nearly five years. They looked after me brilliantly and I learned an awful lot.
But all that goes to one side on Saturday. My loyalties are completely with Everton and our task of climbing to a position that reflects the talent at this club.