Oumar Niasse reflected on his match-winning intervention against Bournemouth yesterday and says that he hopes to fully grasp the opportunity handed him by the circumstances at Everton.
The 27-year-old scored a vital brace that completed the Blues' comeback against the Cherries and helped Ronald Koeman escape an awkward post-mortem at the hands of the media.
Everton had toiled through almost an hour of the game with Koeman's preferred midfield formation yielding few clear-cut chances when he elected to make two decisive changes, introducing Tom Davies and Niasse for Davy Klaassen and Wayne Rooney.
The pair combined twice in the space of five minutes, with the Senegalese striker taking his two chances to complete a fairytale week following his midweek goal against Sunderland in the League Cup.
“It's a great moment for me here at Everton because I've been waiting since one and a half years ago,” Niasse said in the tunnel after the game. I've had to keep going, keep working.
“Honestly, I always keep fighting. It's been a difficult period for me but, like I said, I'm aways trying to give my best. I didn't sign for another team, I signed for Everton so even if I didn't have the chance from the beginning, the coach has given me a chance and I need to take it with both of my hands so I'm thankful about that.
“We've had a bad start to the league. Now we're coming back after the win in the middle of the week and it's another win. Now we have to keep going for the next two games before the [international] break so I'm happy for the team now.”
Niasse gave credit to Tom Davies, another standout performer from the win over Sunderland overlooked for the starting XI by Ronald Koeman yesterday.
The 19-year-old midfielder played Niasse in with a smart pass for the first goal which he hammered past Asmir Begovic and it was the deflection off Davies' hard, low ball towards the far post that provided him with the chance to convert the winner.
“He's a good a player,” the striker said of Davies, “ and I think he can get better. I've been working with him in the Under-23s so I know how he plays and how he can give the ball to me.
“He's a good character for the team because we were 1-0 down at home and had lost three games in a row so it was very difficult. But the confidence is back and hopefully we're going to keep it before the break and we can keep working … because we've got quality in the team.”