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Howard Kendall: Goals will come for hard-working Nikica Jelavic

04 Jan 2013 10:55:00

Howard Kendall: Goals will come for hard-working Nikica Jelavic

Nikica Jelavic hasn’t scored the goals this season that he did when he first arrived at Everton FC last term. But he will – because his work-rate and attitude has been first class.

If you start thinking ‘it’s not happening for me’ or ‘I’m never going to score’ it will become a self fulfilling prophecy. But if you continue to chase lost causes and put yourself into positions where you can score goals, the chances will come. And a player of Jelavic’s quality will always score. Hard work, as it is in so many other parts of football, is the key. It will be the key when Everton go to League Two Cheltenham in the FA Cup on Monday. As a manager I was fortunate enough to never experience the humiliation of a giant-killing by a side from the bottom tier. But when I was at Stoke City as a player we were knocked out of the FA Cup by non-league Blyth Spartans – at home! It was a terrible upset and I think led to George Eastham losing his job. Maybe a little complacency did creep in that day, but David Moyes knows that the squad he has put together at Everton doesn’t have that in it. Everybody gives absolutely everything every time they run out, and that’s a wonderfully reassuring feeling for a manager to have.

You want to know you’re going to get a certain level of performance from your players every time they cross the white line, and David has that. Players like Leighton Baines, Leon Osman and Phil Neville are always totally committed regardless of the opposition. That’s what Everton will need on Monday night at Cheltenham – and I’m sure they will get it.


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