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01:38 Fri 20 Apr 2018

Rooney Aiming To Lay A Platform

Wayne Rooney is determined to help lay the foundations for Everton to “move forward” and achieve their ambitions in the coming seasons.

Toffees Academy graduate Rooney has scored 11 goals in 34 starts for the Blues following his return from Manchester United ahead of this current campaign.

He was on target in Everton’s win at Newcastle United back in December and wants the reverse fixture with the Magpies on Monday to act as the catalyst for a fruitful finish to the season.

The Toffees are ninth in the Premier League, two points shy of Leicester City in eighth, having steadily climbed the table following the appointment of boss Sam Allardyce five months ago. Rooney's immediate aim is to ensure the Blues head into the close-season on a positive note - before turning their focus to fulfilling the Club's long-term goals.

“The aim is to consistently do well individually and as a team,” said Rooney. “It is about me and the team trying to find that consistent level and we will try to do that in the next four games.

“There have been good and bad moments this season. Sam has steadied things for us and got us into the top half of the table. It is important we end the season well and get as many points as possible from these four games. We do not want to end the season on a bad run of results and have that hanging over us during the summer.

"I think if we can end it well and in a positive frame of mind, we will then have the summer off and come back for pre-season ready to go.

“I want to be here and play for this Club. The Club has shown it's intentions with the money it has spent and players it has brought in, in the past couple of years.

“The new stadium is being planned and the Club has shown a clear idea of where it wants to go.

“Hopefully, we will have a team in a new stadium and trying to help us win trophies.

“[Now] it is about trying to help the Club lay foundations for the next generation, for it to move forward – it is about the future of the Club.

“That is what we want – we want the Club to move forward… as long as the Club is showing improvement that is what we are all looking for.”

Rooney is backing Jordan Pickford to be a significant figure in Everton’s bright future. The 24-year-old signed from Sunderland in summer 2017 and has been a Premier League ever-present this term.

Pickford has kept 10 clean sheets in all competitions and made 212 top-flight saves.

He won his first full England cap five months after joining the Blues, shutting out World Champions Germany in a goalless Wembley draw back in November.

Pickford played his second Three Lions game last month, when his assured display was instrumental to a 1-0 win in Holland.

And Rooney is certain Everton boast this country’s most accomplished goalkeeper.

“He is England’s number one,” said Rooney. “He is the best keeper this country has got... in my eyes Jordan is number one.

“He is a good character around the dressing room. At times this season he has saved us points and kept us in games.

“He is vocal and you need your keeper to talk. It gives everyone security, especially your back four. It makes them feel safe to have someone behind them who is speaking to them.

“He has performed really well for us this season. He was a great signing and will be here a long time, I am sure.”

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