MAGAYE GUEYE revealed his confidence is sky-high after staking his claim for a Wembley place with his first Everton goal during the rout over Sunderland.
The French U-21 international scored the opener of a 4-0 victory over Martin O’Neill’s men at Goodison yesterday, and is praying he has done enough to be in the squad for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool.
Gueye, 21, had struggled for opportunities this term until a starring role in the quarter final replay against the Black Cats last month, and he provided assists for Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman this time round.
“The goal was my present. It was very good for me and the club,” he said, after a victory that means Everton are guaranteed to remain above Liverpool in the Premier League table before their Wembley show-down.
“It was a great performance and now we’re looking forward to Liverpool. It was important to win. Personally, now I’m feeling better because I’ve had a couple of games and more confidence. I’m very happy I scored and we went on to win.
“When you get more games and the manager gives you chances it increases your confidence and makes you feel better.
“I hope I can be involved on Saturday. I want to do something with the lads at Wembley. I have to work hard this week too and prove I deserve to be involved.”
Toffees assistant manager Steve Round believes Gueye, along with other players who figured in a re-shuffled side yesterday, have presented David Moyes with a selection hea ache this week.
“It was a fantastic result,” he said. “We’re really pleased. We played some really good football and to cap it off with the four goals was a confidence boost.
“It just shows where we’re at with the squad. The players that came in were fantastic and did us proud. They’ve now said to the manager, ‘We’re available – if you need us, we’re ready’.
“That’ll be a long decision over the next couple of days. We’ll refocus tomorrow and we’ll be back on for the semi-final come Wednesday and Thursday.”
Round was particularly impressed with the patience Everton showed before eventually picking apart what is widely regarded as a quality Sunderland team.
The visitors stood firm in the first half but were well beaten by the time the final whistle arrived.
And Round added: “I think Sunderland are very well organised. A very good team that is difficult to break down. It took us a lot of time and patience to keep playing and wait for the moment. When it came, we took it and we took three great moments with the first three goals.
“It would have taken something like that to break Sunderland down. They’re well organised and fight together. It was one of those games where you wonder if it’s going to come. You just need that little breakthrough.”