Garner Sends '100 Per Cent' Everton Promise

James Garner admits his growing importance to Everton has been pleasing on a personal level – but his overriding focus is to give “100 per cent” to help the Club seal Premier League survival this weekend.  

The midfielder has started six of Everton’s past seven Premier League games and performed impressively in each.  

In his most recent outing at Wolves, the 22-year-old was tasked with playing multiple different roles, including right-back after the injury sustained by defender Nathan Patterson during the first half.   

Despite having never played such a position in his career previously, Garner excelled and received high recognition from manager Sean Dyche following the contest.   

“I’d never played right-wing back, or on the right wing,” Garner told evertontv post-match. “But I like to see myself as a versatile player, and I am here to do a job for the team. Wherever the gaffer wants me to play, I will play. I give 100 per cent in every single game I play in. I think I played well but it was just another game in my eyes.”  

Garner was a standout star in the Championship last season on loan at Nottingham Forest. During that campaign, the England Under-21 international featured in 41 Championship matches.

He looked primed to build on his fine form in the Premier League this year following his summer switch from Old Trafford. However, it’s been a stop-start season with a back injury sustained in November forcing the midfielder on the sidelines until March.   

Garner is back now and feels he is getting close to his best again, too.  

“It’s been a tough season for me,” Garner acknowledged. “The injury and then having to fight to get back into the team.

“Now, I feel like I am a starter, I have been the last six or seven games and I am getting better each game. It’s just a shame we only have one more game left and I haven’t been able to add as much as I’d like to the team, but we have that final game. In it, I am going to give 100 per cent, like the rest of the lads will.”   

Saturday’s dramatic 1-1 draw with Wolves extended Everton’s record to just one defeat in seven Premier League away matches. More crucially, though, it kept the team in a positive position going into Sunday’s season finale at home to Bournemouth (4.30pm BST). 

Garner is looking forward to playing his part in that clash in front of what he has no doubt will be a passionate and vocal fanbase at Goodison Park.

“There were mixed emotions from the lads (following the Wolves draw),” he added “We were happy to get the equaliser in the last minute, but it was definitely a game we felt we could have won.  

“The goal we conceded could have been avoided. But it was a crucial point and it could be massive going into the final game of the season.  

“I can’t wait for the weekend. It’s crunch time now. It’s the last game of the season and we know it’s massive. We have to focus on ourselves, we know the fans are going to be massive for us; they’re going to be that 12th man.   

“We need to focus on ourselves, what we can control, and that’s getting the three points this weekend.” 

James Garner
We need to focus on ourselves, what we can control and that’s getting the three points this weekend.