What a difference a win makes! Straight after the defeat by Wolves, I went into the dressing room and told a few home truths. On Sunday I went into the changing room at Goodison Park after our 3-1 win and just said: “Put the music on!”
There has not been a lot of dancing or singing after four defeats, but that feeling after a badly-needed win was so good.
We so badly needed to grind out a result, but we did more than that. We’ve traditionally struggled at Everton, but to go there last weekend, play the way we did and come away with that result, it was like having an ice cream with chocolate sauce - and sprinkles! That feeling after a win carries you into the following week.
I watched the Manchester City documentary recently and there’s a bit in it where they’re talking about how good the spirit is. That’s because they win most weeks! Let me tell you, it wouldn’t be like that if they were losing - and maybe it’s not been like that after their Champions League defeat by Lyon.
Our manager made some changes for Sunday’s game and it worked well. I felt we had a real firm base in midfield with myself, Pedro Obiang and Declan Rice. We knew our jobs.
I’m not going to get carried away, though, because now we have two massive challenges in the Premier League, with Chelsea on Sunday, followed by Manchester United.
Against Everton, though, we felt like a team, with Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson defending at the back post, in addition to great stuff going forward. That’s how you have to play in the Premier League.
In the build-up to the second goal, I got kicked by one of their defenders and was on the ground appealing for a free-kick, even as Andriy scored a great goal. It was a brilliant decision by the ref, Martin Atkinson, to allow play to go on!
What pleased me most, though, was the way we reacted in the second half after Everton scored to make it 2-1 right on half-time. We had played well in the first 45 minutes and the manager said, “Relax, calm down” and told us to keep playing the way we had been - and we did that.
We’re looking forward to playing Chelsea, the form team in the Premier League with the form player, Eden Hazard. I’ve read some suggestions he is the best player in Europe. He’s certainly one of them, but I watched Barcelona during the week, where Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick.
But Eden is one of the best I’ve played against. He’s so strong, so quick, he’s sharp in the mind and he can often do whatever he wants to do, despite all your efforts to try to stop him.
One thing that is a shame is that when Eden is in the side, Ross Barkley obviously has fewer chances — you always want to see a good, young English player in Chelsea’s team.
How do we approach Sunday’s game, though? With a lot more confidence, a lot more belief, if I’m honest. We know, though, we have to play well because if you don’t, against a team like Chelsea, there’s every chance you’ll be beaten convincingly.