Everton cannot struggle ‘every season’ claims Toffees stalwart

Everton fans protest sign against the running of their club

Everton saved their top flight skins with a dramatic 1-0 win over Bournemouth at Goodison Park on the final day of the Premier League campaign, though one of their star performers against the Cherries believes the Blues cannot be involved in a relegation dog fight every year.

Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who started 37 of Everton’s 38 Premier League fixtures during the 2022/23 season, was visibly relieved when the fulltime whistle blew on Sunday after he helped the Toffees to beat the drop ahead of Leicester City and Leeds.

Midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure provided the contest’s pivotal moment in the 57th minute of Sunday’s tussle when he powered home a superb effort from the edge of the Bournemouth penalty area.

However, Pickford made a crucial intervention of his own at the other end, saving brilliantly from Bournemouth’s only attempt on target on Merseyside in the game’s final throes.

Game was a grind says Pickford

Speaking to the media shortly after Everton’s great escape was confirmed, 29-year-old Pickford spoke about how he and his teammates had to dig deep to secure the victory they needed to keep the club up.

“It’s been a grind, the game. I just feel we spoke earlier about mentality before the game and I think we gave that in the first half – our attitude and dedication was there, and mentality,” the England international told Sky Sports.

“We just needed to add that quality – that 10 per cent more – and Douc finds a strike, I don’t know where from, but it’s a great strike and to see it over the line is massive for the club, for the staff, for us as players and for the fans.

“We work all week, every week and we don’t take anything lightly, we give our all to put in performances and sometimes it doesn’t pay off, but we know if we give our all we can be proud of what we do.”

“The mentality side of it, we’ve just got to keep going. It was in our hands, it was always going to be in our hands today,” Pickford continued. “It was ours to lose it and it’s a bit heart in your mouth moments being in this position, but you learn a great deal from this and we’ve got to be proud of ourselves. But, it can’t be like this every season, we’ve got to find a solution and hopefully this is the start of it.”

Pickford hoping for brighter future

With their relegation fears behind them for this season at least, Pickford went on to discuss the potential for improvement at Everton, saying:

“It’s a massive club, the new stadium’s coming out soon too and there’s big opportunities there. It’s just about everything coming together nicely and hopefully pushing forward over the next couple of years.”

With uncertainty over the club’s ownership, finances and even the future of current manager Sean Dyche, the summer of 2023 is already shaping up to be a monumental one for Everton.

Dyche has already called for “major changes” at the club as preparations for the fresh campaign start in earnest, though the 51-year-old isn’t guaranteed to be in the club’s hotseat come August.

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