Romelu Lukaku says he was pleased with his goal and Everton's excellent win against Manchester City on Sunday but he says the Blues can't get carried away by one result.
The Belgian scored his 13th goal of the season in all competitions when he struck the opener in the 4-0 victory as Ronald Koeman's men inflicted on Pep Guardiola the biggest defeat of his managerial career.
It was the first time that Everton had recorded back-to-back wins in the Premier League since September, however, and Lukaku says that the players need to continue working hard if they are to bridge what is now a seven-point gap between themselves and the top six.
“We knew we had to be clinical and that was what we were,” Lukaku said on evertonfc.com about Sunday's big win. “You know against a team like Manchester City, a top side with a great manager and players, that you have to take your chances. We played well and we were happy with the work we put in.
“It was nice to score. I am a striker and I need to score goals. I am happy with the win but there is a game against Crystal Palace coming up on Saturday and we will look forward to that now.
“We are going in the right direction but we have to keep working hard. We know the gap is there but we have to keep going now to try to get results game by game.
“We have to try to aim for the top six and rise to the challenge. In football you never know what can happen. I have seen a lot of stuff in this league during my time here so we'll see!
“City was a good win for us, four goals and a clean sheet, but there is work still to be done. We have to keep our feet on the ground and keep on working hard.
“We want to catch [the teams above us] but we know it will be difficult so we are staying calm. We don't need to get too carried away by this result because it is a big challenge to catch up with the teams in the top six. But it is one we will relish.”
Reader Comments (63)
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2 Posted 17/01/2017 at 21:09:22
Last season 4th finished with 66 points and 6th with 63 points. The year before that it was 70 points for 4th and 62 points for 6th. But then again the year before that had Spurs finish in 6th with 69 points.
So who knows, maybe they will all keep up that pace. A run of wins for a change could make things interesting.
3 Posted 17/01/2017 at 21:18:33
4 Posted 17/01/2017 at 21:21:32
5 Posted 17/01/2017 at 21:23:49
6 Posted 17/01/2017 at 21:39:56
If we win 4 out of our next 5 (not impossible) I think the gap will close a lot. We could do with a few draws ie Tottenham vs Man City unless we think we can't catch Tottenham, then we need them to win but, if we concentrate on our games one at a time, we can close this gap.
8 Posted 17/01/2017 at 21:44:02
I still think we need another forward player in the transfer window and wouldn't say no to a centre back as well. I would love Sigurdson and Lamine Kone (can't see us getting Virgil van Dijk).
When Gueye gets back, our midfield looks strong so let's start on the front foot every game.
9 Posted 17/01/2017 at 21:49:35
Hell, had we managed to just get draws at Bournemouth, Burnley and Watford and beaten Swansea at home we'd be a point off sixth. All "ifs" and "buts", of course, but those are the small margins at times.
I've said it a few times on the site recently – any team that can string together a run of wins can make up ground in the Premier League. There are 51 points left to play for still.
10 Posted 17/01/2017 at 21:51:47
11 Posted 17/01/2017 at 22:06:27
Raises the questions. Do we have the will to get more in and do we have the money?
12 Posted 17/01/2017 at 22:15:24
I know it's only words, but Rom's final statement on the challenge of getting in top-6, "But it is one we will relish", is perhaps telling. We've got some momentum now, there seems to be real camaraderie judging by Sunday, and we can take a few teams apart.
13 Posted 17/01/2017 at 22:17:17
14 Posted 17/01/2017 at 22:29:42
Like others have said, we can only hope that Koeman has now seen that a full team of aged experience will never consistently out-do a team with a few hungry youngsters still having dreams!
15 Posted 17/01/2017 at 22:29:52
City suits our game as they never resort to direct attacks with high crosses. The sides we struggle against are the one's with big strikers who are good in the air. We fare better against sides like City and Arsenal as neither are physical in their approach. Once we can start beating this sort of opposition, I think we can progress.
In all honesty I am not really worried when we play Arsenal or Man City because I know that if they beat us it will be by top class football and we can normally blunt that type of attack by playing counter-attacking football. Our fans would not tolerate us playing at home against supposedly inferior sides using similar tactics.
Our promising kids will have their baptism of fire when they are playing against physical sides with power in the air. If Holgate and Davies can cope with that sort of game then I will begin to believe.
Koeman said that we were too weak in some instances and needed to face up to win the first-half battles. It is no coincidence that we have had too many poor starts both home and away. Perhaps Schneiderlin can put a bit of steel into the midfield (I hope).
16 Posted 17/01/2017 at 22:55:10
I'll start getting excited when we win at least five games on the bounce and show we can turn up and all different types of teams are comfortable and can create chances in possession and not only on the counter attack!
Palace are a different animal to City and our direct style will be food and drink to Dann and Co. Let's see what Koeman and this squad are made of!
17 Posted 17/01/2017 at 22:55:34
19 Posted 17/01/2017 at 23:00:11
"I am a striker and I need to score goals".
You are a forward and you need to work your arse off, link with the midfield and then score goals... and not try and nick a goalbound effort from a team-mate.
If he keeps scoring and working hard, he should hit 20.
20 Posted 17/01/2017 at 23:01:43
21 Posted 17/01/2017 at 23:05:28
But it's only one game. A belter though.
22 Posted 17/01/2017 at 23:05:32
We have, after all, got 13 points from the last 6 PL games, most of which our play has been pretty scrappy. But it wasn't scrappy on Sunday, and it just makes a nice change to recognise a bit of system, some great individual performances, and to anticipate a bit more.
23 Posted 17/01/2017 at 23:17:25
Honestly, I'm amazed how many seem to think that Sunday is some sort of one-off and can't be repeated against less talented opponents. I'm not for one minute saying they are wrong as recent history does point to that sort of baffling inconsistency, but if our aim is to rattle the top six, at some point, we'll have to perform to Sunday's level more often. If we do, we'll earn more points, it is that simple.
There is no rational reason to believe that the players will travel to Palace and elsewhere and repeat the insipid performances we witnessed leading up to Christmas. We may not reach the heights of Sunday but surely what we witnessed against Man City is a benchmark that the players and manager should use to motivate themselves; else the City match is just another "punching above our weight" type of result and we can return to ploughing the same fruitless furrow that many of us are pretty tired of seeing.
24 Posted 17/01/2017 at 23:31:16
25 Posted 17/01/2017 at 23:41:16
27 Posted 17/01/2017 at 23:42:26
Prior to Sunday, and despite 10 points from a possible 15, we were erratic and scrappy, with little to no discernible system, and therefore no substantial evidence to be very positive for forthcoming fuxtures.
In contrast, after Sunday, we have specific evidence of a system, fairly solid in defence, fluid in midfield, and clinical in finishing, plus team spirit. Could be a one-off, but might not be, precisely because we have a good squad and we're strengthening it. So, fairly rational to be a little more optimistic for the next few games.
28 Posted 17/01/2017 at 23:47:35
By my reckoning if we win 10 games between now and the end of the season, and if the likes of Sunderland, Swansea, Hull etc. do their part and take points off the top six, the dream is still on. COYB!
29 Posted 17/01/2017 at 23:58:04
We have to be realistic, we've won a game last week in brilliant fashion, but we lost the week before in awful fashion.
We seem to win won, lose one, we've now won 9 league games, lost 6 plus 2 cup games, we're about as inconsistent as a team can be.
Let's hope the inconsistency stops and we start putting runs together, because if you look at the teams above us they're all capable of 5-8 game winning runs, and if we're honest, we're not.
30 Posted 18/01/2017 at 00:12:17
But that was then, and this is now.
31 Posted 18/01/2017 at 00:17:06
Two ingredients needed: ability, plus a winning mentality. We have the former, but have lacked the latter, but no reason why that can't change, and one game is enough to induce that change. The Man City game.
One game at a time, the objective being to win. Never to draw, regardless of the opposition, always to win. The devil is in the detail, and a belief that we can win is a essential detail.
32 Posted 18/01/2017 at 00:34:12
Sometimes I feel like Ron is clueless, proper running his mouth in the press, making our better players look like fools.
Sometimes I see things that makes me think Ron is trying to turn a team full of talented fannies into professional men.
I've come to the conclusion that time will tell and we just have to hope Farhad and Bill have got this one right.
33 Posted 18/01/2017 at 00:37:54
34 Posted 18/01/2017 at 00:50:09
Certainly to my mind the formation is one that works, I've posted my support several times.
I do believe he has stumbled into it. A touch harsh maybe but credit does go to him for the improvements since the Watford game.
Now will he stick with it or rip it apart? I hope with the gaps in our schedule and time between games, improved performances and results will now come against sides like Palace, Boro etc.
We had four different scorers on Sunday, coincidence or opposition or tactics? I think we played a side who wanted to attack us, instantly suiting our 'style.
Will he keep Mirallas as Rom's partner, widely seen as stale and rightly so, was he finally played in his best position?
He ultimately is a striker, not a winger. He loves to run from in to out, took a while for him to figure it out.
Lots to ponder, back five? Yes totally. Higher up the field? Yes. If he changes this it might suggest he has stumbled into it?
Let's see if we can repeat the does Saturday. You'd think away from home Barry gets sacrificed for Morgan. Otherwise no changes.
Over to you, Ron lad.
35 Posted 18/01/2017 at 01:25:22
The 5 at the back maybe more a forced issue than purpose built, but same could be said about Chelsea, it's still put them top of the pile though.
Also 5 at the back v Palace, or any team that isn't out to pass us off the park, may leave us starved of chances, that's were I feel we have to stick with Mirallas up top with Rom, as well as Ross in behind, but also the likes of Davies, Schneiderlin and Barry or McCarthy have to offer themselves as attacking options during tight games.
If not we'd have to sacrifice Barry for someone who can pop up in attacking rolls, such as Deulofeu, Lookman or Lennon.
Another way to look at things is that there's very little between Everton and teams as far down as maybe 14th if were honest, but we have Rom, he's a huge difference in terms of quality from any one below us (apart from Defoe maybe as he's equally as lethal).
Interesting times ahead, fixtures look kind to us too, plus no cup fixtures so no real need to chop and change an awful lot.
Palace left this month, followed in February by Stoke, Bournemouth, Boro, and Sunderland could set us up nicely for a trip to Spurs feeling very upbeat, that's if we can keep up last Sunday's level.
36 Posted 18/01/2017 at 03:14:49
37 Posted 18/01/2017 at 04:35:37
Just saw an article about West Ham's issues with strikers apparently they purchased/loaned over 32 in the last 7 years and only two of them have ever scored 10 in a season (once each). Valencia is not one of them and they bought him for over £12m in 2014 a big-money signing that did not solve their problem.
We should enjoy Lukaku's goals whilst we have him.
38 Posted 18/01/2017 at 05:33:44
Well put, spot on, but real quality moments usually break through these Clod-Hopper teams, and then they collapse.
39 Posted 18/01/2017 at 06:48:16
All it may take for us to get into the top six is for him to miss a few games. Man Utd are not the finished article and other things against them may go in our favour.
40 Posted 18/01/2017 at 06:50:48
41 Posted 18/01/2017 at 07:45:09
Agree 100%. Let's aim for 6th, stay positive, not give up on the season.
One or two who are giving up on the season but they seem to wallow in negativity. Must be a bundle of fun to have a Don Revie with.
42 Posted 18/01/2017 at 07:50:32
The good news is we saw a mix in there. From Mirallas's disallowed goal to the last by Lookman, there were probably 10 fast, incisive and accurate moves, mostly on the floor. Great shot accuracy.
We built some moves more steadily through midfield and then sped up play. Despite the stated possession imbalance, we didn't ditch it too cheaply, too often.
There was also the old favourite AirBall, though some of it accurate enough to be contested and won, as well as some aimless hoof practice from keeper and defenders.
There was good defending we actually varied the line and depth a little at the back too, through the game. Tackling and aggression aplenty.
The most important thing of all on show the team spirit, the endeavour, the belief, the enjoyment. If that can be maintained, there's plenty to work with, plenty of scope for flexibility of play. All this from a team of mostly pre-Koeman, past-it, lazy, useless donkeys. Funny that.
Provided everyone knows what they're doing and are not too rigidly instructed individually, there's a chance we just might find a bit of consistency... I say cautiously.
I'm guessing, but looking at the play and at Koeman himself, I get the feeling he might just have cheered the hell up slightly. Not getting ahead of myself but feeling better about things. Palace will be important.
43 Posted 18/01/2017 at 08:01:05
To listen to some of the stuff on the radio: the automatic assumption, the divine right attributed to the usual "big" clubs, to just take any player they wish sickening.
It would be encouraging to think we aim to be big enough in our own way, to resist.
44 Posted 18/01/2017 at 08:01:34
Personally I'd rather try to maintain 7th and blood some more of the youngsters to see if they are capable; Walsh, Dowell, Browning etc.
Then give Koeman the summer to wheel and deal and put together a squad to challenge the top 4.
45 Posted 18/01/2017 at 08:13:46
46 Posted 18/01/2017 at 08:48:08
47 Posted 18/01/2017 at 08:49:23
48 Posted 18/01/2017 at 09:41:19
Every game needs to be treated like a cup tie, and if it is then I believe the team will be more effective and the players, and us, will enjoy it more. The opposite, of thinking the season is over, would achieve nothing, and would not be effective preparation for next season.
To me, this is not 'positive thinking' in the fashionable way of talking about positive thinking, it's not unrealistic dreaming in the fashionable sense of the 'you can achieve anything you want' bullshit. It's just common sense.
To achieve anything difficult, you need two things: ability and belief. Each on its own isn't enough. We have the former, we just need to maintain the latter, which hopefully the Man City game has given us.
49 Posted 18/01/2017 at 10:18:36
50 Posted 18/01/2017 at 11:25:21
Whilst there may be cause for optimism, let's see where we are after the next 6 (easily winnable) fixtures before we start talking about new hope and optimism!
51 Posted 18/01/2017 at 12:28:02
Ultimately even with the Moshiri cash we won't be in the same league financially as the majority (if not all) of the the present top 6. If we can find 4 or 5 from within that are capable of playing at the top level (and I suspect we already have two in Barkley and Davies) then we can compete.
I also think returning to Man Utd for Luke Shaw in the summer would make sense.
52 Posted 18/01/2017 at 13:40:38
Perhaps you could argue that, pound for pound, our players are better than the likes of Bournemouth but that counts for very little.
In my opinion, and I've said this all season, we are very lucky to be where we are. We've won points we didn't deserve to.
I think 7th is the best we can hope for unless Man City continue to implode. I don't think the other five will.
53 Posted 18/01/2017 at 14:00:11
A thousand miles away from competing with anybody of usage; also-rans for seasons... miles away from Chelsea, Arsenal & most of Europe, that Ronalloudmouth considers worthy of his mountainous (unproven as yet) ability!!!
Wishful thinking from our lazy, piss-poor control, goalscorer as all of the clubs also realise but he's got nothing else!!!
54 Posted 18/01/2017 at 14:03:32
Some of Everton's wins before Christmas were fortuitous and performance quite shabby. Looking to the top six is okay but they will need to show the same attacking prowess of the City game on a consistent level.
With 3 against Southampton as well we can probably be more optimistic about upcoming games but let's not look past the banana skin at Crystal Palace who are in a desperate situation.
55 Posted 18/01/2017 at 14:09:42
Granted it doesn't always work like that, look at us against Man City at the weekend, they would probably be saying the same about us. But you have to have ambition and beating those clubs should be the aim at the very least for a club like ours.
Man Utd are very catchable. When we played them here before Xmas, I wasn't that impressed with them especially given the money they have spent. As others have said, we should be aiming to win every game and see where we are after that. It's unrealistic but that should be the aim.
From the home games remaining, only Chelsea of the top 6 are yet to come here so we should be looking to win all our home games; the team owe the fans after the shambles at Stamford Bridge so we should go for a win there too.
Saturday is so important. So often we have followed a good win with a lacklustre performance. Hopefully the team are evolving and the younger players are providing some necessary exuberance to the older ones.
I don't see 5 at the back as negative, with Coleman and Baines bombing forward it gives us an extra dimension. We should be going to Palace with one thought only victory. If we can get on a run, the who knows where we can end up.
56 Posted 18/01/2017 at 15:14:12
57 Posted 18/01/2017 at 15:24:12
At the start of the season, before any of us had any form to go on, I'd have said that Everton should be finishing seventh, but no higher.
As the season has progressed, I'm of the opinion that, based on performances that we're lucky to be 7th and that if we were currently twelfth I would say that that was a decent reflection of how we've played.
Now I'm all on for being optimistic and of course with a win at Palace a bit of momentum could be gained, but I don't think for a second we will catch any of the top 6, bar maybe Man City.
Man Utd, for a period in the autumn were the exact opposite of Everton; not winning games they were utterly dominating. Now they've had some luck of late with refereeing decisions but the fact is that they're on a great run of form and are worthy of their league position.
There's plenty to play for in theory and I hope I'm wrong, but I think sixth position, from our current position, is unlikely.
58 Posted 18/01/2017 at 15:55:46
If, and I know it's a big 'if', we can find any kind of consistency and go on a run then they are catchable. I would be more than happy with 5th or 6th this season given our performances and league position over the last couple of years. All teams have a blip at some point in the season, we have had a large one so hopefully we can come out of the other side in decent shape.
We really do need another couple of signings this window to make a difference but you never know. That's the beauty of football, you just never know. One good result and performance can change everything whereas one awful one can do the opposite. Just got to hope that last Saturday was some kind of turning point for us.
59 Posted 18/01/2017 at 16:02:31
For me, I have been shocked at how well we've done against the top 6 at home (except for the RS result) and I think it shows that the team are more than capable of competing with the big boys when they work hard and put their mind to it.
However, I do think we are a club in transition with a lot of players on the slide which has already saw our midfield and centre halves more or less being replaced. I believe the top 6 have ALL got their act in gear this season with even Spurs and Man Utd catching up with the rest after a slow start.
Leicester was the team to benefit last year with a few of the big guns slipping up and we finished above Spurs & Man Utd in 2014 but in reality all those teams above us probably have more money than us, currently have a better squad than us, possibly have a better manager than us and we are just beginning to turn the corner and begin our new 'project'.
In a way being out of both cups might give Koeman and the team some breathing space to build a new team and way of playing without too much pressure.
6th has to be the short term goal and thus a way into Europe which will attract more players but I'd not be too disappointed with 7th and hope teams in the top 6 win the 2 cups so we still qualify for Europa like West Ham did last year.
60 Posted 18/01/2017 at 16:25:41
"The top 6 really should be out of sight given the resources they have."
Everton also gave them a lot of help by hardly winning any games from the end of September until going on a winning streak after beating Arsenal 2-1 at home on 14 December only defeat in the Premier League since then was by Liverpool.
61 Posted 18/01/2017 at 17:01:44
As I've said though, we need to find some consistency in our performances; if we can do that, then who knows???
62 Posted 18/01/2017 at 22:22:37
63 Posted 18/01/2017 at 22:42:39
Posters who suggest that 2 further signings might get us there I think could be correct. A striker and a centre-half are the requirements I think. A goalkeeper can wait. Any upgrade would be marginal, so moot in my eyes.
All said and done, we have the familiar Evertonian conundrum of breaking down lower placed sides. This comes down to whether Koeman can get the level of performance out of the side. If and if the team can play higher up the pitch I believe with the personnel we have it's possible.
But I expect Everton to fall back, not acceptable in my view as we cannot fall any further behind the 6 teams above us.
64 Posted 19/01/2017 at 16:02:36
To me, the excitement is over already because we are out of the FA Cup.
65 Posted 19/01/2017 at 17:04:43
66 Posted 20/01/2017 at 12:44:19
67 Posted 20/01/2017 at 14:34:14
I see Nigeria are already asking him to change allegiance to them. It's been a hell of a few weeks for the young man. I was delighted to see Koeman put him straight into the match squad as I'd say if it was Moyes he's be protected a bit more.
I've a good feeling about this lad and think he will score goals from midfield a lot more than Bolasie and Mirallas.