Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Arouna Kone feeling positive as he begins comeback from injury

Published 24/08/2016

Arouna Kone, second right, is fit and ready to play a part in Everton's season
Arouna Kone, second right, is fit and ready to play a part in Everton's season

Striker Arouna Kone is looking to make a fresh start at Everton under another manager he knows well having battled through his injury problems.

The 32-year-old came off the bench to score twice in eight minutes, his first goals since January, in the 4-0 EFL Cup win over League Two Yeovil.

He took both well, one a rasping drive from the edge of the penalty area and the other a predator's finish from close range, and looked sharper than last season's 25-goal man Romelu Lukaku did in 90 minutes.

Kone knows he will not replace Lukaku as first choice but is confident he can now do a job for the team and having been so closely associated with previous manager Roberto Martinez, following him from Wigan three seasons ago, he is relishing the prospect to play for Ronald Koeman again.

He spent a year under the Dutchman at PSV Eindhoven in 2006-07, although that too was blighted by injury.

"I am really happy for these two goals but I am more happy for the team because a victory is important," Kone, whose time at Goodison Park has been littered by injury problems, told Press Association Sport.

"For me it is very important as a striker to score goals and I have to score to keep my confidence.

"I am feeling very well now but I am not 100 per cent, I think I am now about 70 to 80 per cent.

"Last week I was with the team, before I was with the physio to do my training because in the holiday I had an operation on my knee.

"I was very unlucky with the injuries but I am very positive in my head and I have to give 100 per cent for myself and this club."

Kone believes Koeman will get the best out of the squad, for whom new signings Ashley Williams and Yannick Bolasie made their full debuts, and expects them to target the EFL Cup as well as do better in the Premier League.

"It is a very important competition. We have a big squad and I think this year we have to improve and these two (Williams and Bolasie) will help the team improve as they are very good players," he added.

"We have a very good manager. I knew him before and played with him in Holland at PSV and he will improve us.

"I think this year we have a big squad to do more and improve and to finish very high in the table."

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph