Dwight McNeil reveals why the mood inside Everton’s camp is calm and focused in an in-depth Official Matchday Programme interview for Sunday’s crucial encounter with Bournemouth.
The Blues' in-form number 7 is the cover star and subject of an exclusive feature for the final matchday read on the 2022/23 campaign.
He also discusses his pre-game routine - and why it will remain consistent regardless of the magnitude of the fixture, gains in the gym, why playing in unfamiliar roles helps his development, and the deep sense of pride and responsibility that comes with playing for Everton.
Summarising the feeling at Finch Farm this week, McNeil says: “We’re relaxed and focused, knowing the job that needs to be done.
"It’s been positive and we’ve had good sessions in training.
“We know we need the result and we’ve cracked down in training on how we can go about doing that, but we’re keeping things consistent in terms of how we work.
“Of course, we didn’t want to be in this position but we have to deal with what is in front of us and really relish the challenge now."
One certainty on Sunday is that Everton will be roared on by a vociferous sold-out crowd, with whom McNeil has forged an impressive connection in recent months.
“It’s an honour to wear this shirt and represent Evertonians,” he explains. “We’ll fight to give them what they deserve.
“There was a little bit of a surprise in that just how it would feel [to be an Everton player]. Obviously, I’ve played here before as an opposition player, but to have the fans on your side is an amazing thing to be part of.
“Being here, it doesn’t take long to realise that the Club means everything to these fans.
“The minimum is giving 100 per cent. Every game I make sure that is the case, then I try to let my quality come through as the game comes on. It’s nice to be building that relationship with the fans now and it’s not something I’ll ever take for granted.
“I want to keep providing big performances and important moments to keep building that connection stronger.
“We know it’s been a difficult season but you see how they back us constantly. Every game is sold out, they’re always behind us. They deserve huge credit for that.
“They’re are desperate for us to do well and we’re desperate to give them that.”
Elsewhere in Sunday's programme, James Garner is the subject of our second player interview, while Leon Osman reflects on his upbringing in Everton's Academy 25 years on from his group's FA Youth Cup success, and The Lowdown centres around Yerry Mina.
For all this and more, pick up a copy of the programme, priced £4, around the ground or, alternatively, click here to order a copy online.