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Tue 15 Jan 2019

Confident Lookman Relishing Starting Role

Ademola Lookman says his confidence is sky high after delivering another sizzling Goodison Park performance in Everton's victory over Bournemouth on Sunday.

Winger Lookman picked up where he left off against Lincoln City eight days earlier, forcing defenders back with a series of direct and elusive runs and providing a high-class service for his fellow forwards.

The 21-year-old completed four dribbles – more than anyone on the pitch and fewer than only five players in the Premier League across the weekend – and set up Dominic Calvert-Lewin for the goal which ensured all three points remained on Merseyside.

Lookman was starting only the sixth Premier League match of his embryonic career – and second this season.

“I am confident and comfortable going out there,” Lookman told evertontv.

“I am just happy to be involved, I love playing football and it is all I want to do.

“Bournemouth gave us a hard game but in the second half we played a lot better and got the three points.

“I am always confident in my ability and I was happy to help the team.”

Lookman made a persuasive case for selection against Bournemouth when he had a telling hand in Everton safely navigating their FA Cup tie with League Two Lincoln.

Manager Marco Silva nevertheless revealed he was influenced as much by his faith in the player’s “quality” as his goalscoring turn the previous week when it came to picking his team to face the Cherries.

He also cited Lookman’s promising run of form before his season was briefly disrupted by a minor ankle injury sustained last month – and the fact the England Under-21 star is “improving every day”.

Perhaps emboldened by the belief invested in him by his boss, Lookman was one of those chiefly responsible for tipping the balance of the weekend’s game back in Everton’s favour after the away side created a handful of early openings.

He provided two key passes and had seven touches in his opponents’ box, a total bettered by just eight players in the weekend's Premier League matches.

One audacious piece of skill executed in his own half, when Lookman rolled his studs across the top of the ball to deceive two opponents and completed a pass in one blink-and-you-miss-it moment, brought the house down.

Lookman mixed substance with style, though, helping Everton achieve a 51.2 per cent possession share with his own accomplished use of the ball, the forward striking 14 accurate passes in Bournemouth’s half. His dazzling feet lured the visiting defenders into conceding three free-kicks.

And the manner in which Lookman capped his man-of-the-match display was indicative of the Londoner’s soaring confidence.

With the game entering the last of five additional minutes and Everton 1-0 ahead, Lookman would have been forgiven had he run the ball to the corner when he dashed down the left.

The thought did not appear to cross his mind as Lookman spied Calvert-Lewin advancing on his right and cut across a precision ball for the striker to convert. It was Lookman's second assist of the campaign, having provided the ammunition for Calvert-Lewin to head home against Crystal Palace back in October.

“I saw Dom running and he likes to score goals so I was delighted to help him,” said Lookman.

“The most important thing, though, was to get the three points. It was important to win at home again and that is two in a row now.

“It grows our confidence, it will be another hard week of training and we’ll look forward to next week’s game at Southampton. I am feeling stronger all the time."

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