After back-to-back victories in the FA Cup and Premier League at Goodison Park, we head to Southampton this weekend (Saturday, 19:00 UAE) with the clear aim of building more positive momentum by securing a third-straight win.
It was important we followed up our third round FA Cup win over Lincoln the previous weekend with another good result and performance in the Premier League last Sunday so to beat Bournemouth 2-0 was a welcome boost.
A clean sheet and three points is always a great combination but it was the manner of the victory that was particularly satisfying. We had to dig deep against a talented Bournemouth side to get the job done in what were challenging weather conditions.
The Premier League is so tough and anyone can beat anyone on any given day. Therefore, to be successful you need consistency, a real desire to work hard and a steely focus and determination to produce good performances wherever you go. Our aim now must be to build on the last two results and go on a sustained run that will carry us forward.
Personally, I think we are moving in the right direction. Earlier in the season, we went on a run of five or six games that lifted us into the top six, and that is what we are aiming to replicate again. There’s bags of talent within this squad and we’ve always felt we are doing the right things, even though we haven’t always got the results we deserved.
Since the manager, Marco Silva, came in, he has been really good for me. I really enjoy working with him and I think if you spoke to the rest of the squad, they would all say the same. He works us hard and we are all comfortable and happy with his staff.
In terms of my role within the team, I have been playing through the middle this season and feel I’ve been contributing positively to the team. I am happy with my return of eight goals so far but my next target is double figures for the season.
I recently discovered I need just one more goal to equal Eidur Gudjohnsen’s record as the top-scoring Icelandic player in the Premier League with 55 goals.
When I first started playing in England, I never thought about records like that. However, when it did come to my attention about a year ago then, of course, you start to think about it because you’re not that far away and want to test yourself to see if you can make it your own. Hopefully, I can achieve that milestone and it would be great to do it this weekend against Southampton.
We head to St Mary’s knowing Southampton had a great win last week at Leicester City, which is not an easy place to go to get three points – we had to work very hard for our 2-1 victory at the King Power Stadium in October.
Southampton are fighting for their lives and have responded positively since the appointment of Ralph Hasenhuttl as manager, as often happens. Their players know they must prove themselves to the new manager and show they are worthy of a place in his team. However, we have things to prove ourselves, so we’ll be fired up and ready for the challenge.
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