DINIYAR Bilyaletdinov has vowed to be patient as he continues to fight for his place in the Everton team.
The Russian midfielder says he is poised to take any opportunity David Moyes gives him in the side, and insists he must start over again to win the faith of his manger and the supporters despite scoring the club’s goal of last season.
Bilyaletdinov, 25, who plays on the inside left of midfield for his national side, refused to use being played on the right at Goodison as an excuse for his inconsistent form.
And as the Blues prepare to take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge today, the £9m capture from Lokomotiv Moscow urged his team mates to start backing themselves to shoot from outside the area.
He said: “David Moyes has said that he needs every player, and the league is a long-distance tournament. He said we will all get our chance and my time will come. I can just watch and wait.
“I don’t know where the manager sees me playing long term. I play on the left for Russia but it’s not difficult to change flanks for me. I played on the right last season, and one game this time. David Moyes asks me and I do it. I can cut inside and shoot on my left foot.
“But last seasons goals are forgotten. The supporters are waiting for more goals from me and everyone this time, for us to seize shooting positions. We don’t shoot enough from 20 or 25 yards. It’s a weakness for us this season.”
Bilyaletdinov, who has found first team starts hard to come by so far this season, is nevertheless feeling the frustration of Everton’s faltering form.
He said: “Everton need to take things in smaller steps. We need to start taking points. Over the next 10 games I think we need 23 points to move to where we want to be.
It’s difficult to think too far ahead.”
The Russian was in high spirits after his country won the contest to stage the 2018 World Cup on Thursday, ahead of England and Portugal.
And he refused to rule out being able to play a part in the tournament.
He said: “It was a big decision for my country. Most people there are hoping it will be the best World Cup ever, and it’s a first for us. The Winter Olympics in 2014 in Sochi (Russia) should be like a trial run and good practise for the World Cup.
“It is eight years away, and I’ll still be 33, but I would like to play a part. I’ll need to be in good form.”
Meanwhile, Phil Jagielka is a doubt for today’s clash. The England centre-half is struggling with a knock picked up in last week’s defeat to West Brom.
Tony Hibbert will also miss the Stamford Bridge clash having suffered a cut ankle in the first half against the Baggies.
However, Moyes is boosted by the return of skipper Phil Neville who has recovered from a sore knee and midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who is available having served a three-match ban.
The Everton manager said: “We have a bit of a doubt over Phil Jagielka and we will have to see how he is.
“Tony Hibbert will definitely miss the game. I don’t think many people realise but he suffered a really bad cut to his ankle early in the game (against West Brom) and had to be stitched up at half-time. He did really well to carry on for us but he won’t make it tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, the Blues will be without Mikel Arteta who starts a three-match ban for his dismissal against the Baggies, while Leon Osman (ankle) is a long-term absentee.
Moyes added: “We’ll miss Mikel as he is a big player for us. I don’t think his form has quite been what he would want it to be in the last few games, but he is an important player.”