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Unflappable Stones feels Blues have turned the corner

by | 07/02/2015  Comments (20)  jump

Back in the side and part once more of an improving back line, John Stones believes that if Everton defend the way did against Crystal Palace last weekend, they can stop Liverpool's resurgent attack in today's Merseyside derby.

The stylish young defender returned from a long layoff following surgery to repair ankle ligaments he damaged in the Premier League match against Manchester United that followed the Blues' 1-1 draw at Anfield, bringing much-needed composure and stability to the Blues' defence.

The possibility of meeting the reds and facing off against Daniel Sturridge for the first time since the last year's 4-0 horror show on Liverpool's path doesn't phase the England international, though, as he feels the win at Selhurst Park marks a turning-point in the team's season.

We did think Jags' goal [at Anfield in September] would be a turning point and there's a big bundle of reasons why it didn't happen," Stones says in The Guardian, "but I think we can put our finger on the Palace game and say that was a turning point in our season.

"We have pretty much half a season now to correct what we didn't do in the first half. This second half of season is really going to take off for us with the win at Palace.

There was a big relief in the dressing room afterwards, the lads have been craving that feeling of winning again, and it was a massive result for us."

That 1-0 victory was Everton's first since mid-December and in between they lost four League games on the bounce and were eliminated from the FA Cup by West Ham in agonising fashion, but while a national media article today has tried to delve into the dressing-room ructions that might have underpinned that dreadful run of form between early December and early January, Stones is talking unity of purpose.

We believe in what we do and in how we play and that's how we will start winning games again. In the last home game I was putting in crosses from the right wing and that shows the gaffer hasn't changed how we approach the game. If we stay on that track we will do well.

"I'm glad we have just concentrated on ourselves and not changed for any other team. There has been a lot said about the fans being frustrated with us and rightly so because we have not been getting results at home but all we can do is correct that by winning games, starting with a big one against Liverpool.  

Reader Comments (20)

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Stephen Brown
1 Posted 07/02/2015 at 07:40:06
I'm feeling dizzy the amount of corners we have turned lately.
Kelvin Thomas
2 Posted 07/02/2015 at 07:45:43
Losing today will mean going back to square one for the 14th time this season!
John Paul McGurk
3 Posted 07/02/2015 at 08:00:08
Heads up, we are Everton, Everton we are, we are Everton. Toffee till I die.

Look at it this way: we have at least 6 players that would walk into their team.

Gavin McGarvey
4 Posted 07/02/2015 at 07:59:13
I kind of hate players talking us up before the derby. I know it's part of their jobs and all, but I get so damn nervous anyway and their optimistic words make it worse somehow.

As for turning a corner, we need a draw against Liverpool to show that and then 3 points against Leicester to show that. We've won the odd game this season but I can't recall us winning two in a row. So, fingers crossed for today.

Stones has made a big difference to our defence so maybe he can make things happen today. Also the return of McCarthy would bode well. Less than ten hours to go, COYB.

Paul Andrews
5 Posted 07/02/2015 at 08:12:04
Morning, Lyndon, can you post a link to the national media article you mention please.

James Brand
6 Posted 07/02/2015 at 08:27:55
I know footballers aren't noted for their academic skills but just how long is this 2nd half of season? RM keeps mentioning it after every game we lose and will no doubt do the same when Stevie G scores his farewell hat trick in front of the Gwladys St today and Chelsea run rings round us on Wednesday.

Stop talking about a 2nd half of the season and just start putting some wins together!!

Colin Glassar
7 Posted 07/02/2015 at 08:49:08
My sentiments entirely James. Just win the bloody thing first then start the talking.
James Brand
8 Posted 07/02/2015 at 09:00:09
Thank you Colin!!

Just wish they'd be more mathematically correct (and maths certainly isn't my thing).

RM: "Well the first half of the season has been disappointing but we've turned a new corner as we head into the final third of an eighth of a season."

Steve Guy
9 Posted 07/02/2015 at 09:11:18
I think we've turned so many corners, there's a danger we are back were we started.

Ian Jones
10 Posted 07/02/2015 at 09:15:00
For someone who has indicated he doesn't like corners, Martinez spends a lot of time talking about turning them.
Chris James
11 Posted 07/02/2015 at 09:20:04
Not so sure about 'turning corners' being able to 'take corners' would be a start for me.

Our approach to set pieces under Martinez has been utterly woeful and it seems time and again we're more likely to create an attacking opportunity for the opposition than anything dangerous for ourselves. Heard some crazy rumour that we don't even practise them, surely this can't be right?

Glen Garrett
13 Posted 07/02/2015 at 09:40:03
I bloody well hope so. Last game against Palace was a very lucky win. Lucky not to lose that game too.

Lets just hope that the Everton defence don't turn off & go blind like they have done... they've got to be a solid unit today.

A must win game today as it is Chelsea after, which Everton won't win.

COME ON, YOU EVERTON! It's all about pride today... get stuck right in there and show them why you are EVERTON FC.

All the fans at the game today, show your true colours. Get right behind them & show the players what it really means to be an Everton fan.

Phil Walling
14 Posted 07/02/2015 at 10:35:32
Forget corners, stats prove they are a waste of a passing opportunity. As John says, our season starts here. Or not.
Kieran Riding
17 Posted 07/02/2015 at 11:31:29
ItÂ’s well worth a read.
David Hallwood
18 Posted 07/02/2015 at 11:41:54
Good read Kieran

Could it just be a delayed reaction of the changing of the guard, given that it was as you were last season, and it'll take 12-18 months for the Moyseless side to emerge. What will it look like is anybodies guess, but fitness is still fitness and that's my main concern of Bobby's second season.

Back to the thread; agreement all round that 'turn the corner' is becoming football's equivalent of 'hard working families'.

Nigel Gregson
20 Posted 07/02/2015 at 11:47:11
Is it the same paper that suggested James McCarthy's injury had resurfaced 2 days ago. What is this? A targeted campaign against our manager just before the derby? The Daily Redshite!
Trevor Lynes
21 Posted 07/02/2015 at 13:23:37
I have learned to never crow and never to bleat as every dog has it's day and I must admit that derby games whether cup or league always give me the colly wobbles. This has been the same since Liddell used to terrify me every time he got the ball back in the bad old late 40s and early 50s.

Their players always seemed so much bigger, faster and better on the ball. I really do not know the six players from our side who would walk into the present Liverpool side, but perhaps the lad is wearing his blue glasses, double glazed and tinted!

Of course I am desperately hoping for a win as that would give us a huge confidence boost as Liverpool are looking the best team in the Premier League at the moment. Even a draw would be a result as we need to kick on for the remainder of the season.

Paul Johnson
22 Posted 07/02/2015 at 15:46:35
Response to this thread is so negative. God help the wife if we win today. If it is not fillet steak then I am sure that she will get the full force of your frustration. Or maybe not as most will still moan anyway. COYB.
Harold Matthews
23 Posted 07/02/2015 at 16:36:00
The club should be keeping the youngsters away from newspaper hacks.
Colin Glassar
24 Posted 07/02/2015 at 23:47:20
Stonesy was brill today.

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