Alcaraz pleased to be playing again

, 30 December, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent

Having endured a stop-start first six months at Goodison, Antolin Alcaraz is glad to finally be involved at first-team level for Everton after making his first League start for the club against Southampton on Sunday.

The 31 year-old was drafted into Roberto Martinez's starting XI after captain Phil Jagielka was ruled out for a month with a hamstring strain and provided a seamless transition alongside Sylvain Distin in the heart of the Blues' defence.

His rock solid performance helped Martinez's side beat the Saints 2-1 and finish the year in the top four and, with the succession of injury problems that sidelined him until this month hopefully behind him, Alcaraz is looking forward now to helping the team push for Europe.

"It has been a difficult time but every player goes through tough spells and I'm happy now it's behind me and I can enjoy this moment with the team," the Paraguayan told the Echo

"I'd enjoy it if we could get back into Europe but there's a long way to go. We need to focus on improving and getting as many points as possible."

Everton's slip against Sunderland on Boxing Day allowed the top three of Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea to open a slight gap above the clutch of clubs jostling for places in the top eight and Alcaraz acknowledges the importance of every game.

"I think every three points is important now," he continued. "One loss changes everything, and we know how hard it is in the Premier League so we couldn't slip up.

"For us, we're focusing on each game and then at the end of the season we'll see where we are."


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