Belfast Telegraph

Kone eyeing kick-start at Everton

Striker Arouna Kone hopes it is third time lucky as he once again begins his bid to kick-start his Everton career.

The Ivorian has played just 22 times since following manager Roberto Martinez from Wigan in the summer of 2013 for £6million.

He managed just six appearances in a debut season which was ended in October by a knee ligament injury which sidelined him for almost 14 months.

The 31-year-old then featured in 16 matches between December and the end of the campaign and that has helped restore his confidence as he prepares for pre-season.

"In terms of my injury, last season really helped me to come back and get fitter," he told

"When I left Wigan, I knew I was coming to a bigger club, a successful club, and I knew that being surrounded by such a great group of players could have a great impact on myself so to suffer the injury that I did was very difficult.

"I feel a lot better physically now. The few games that I was able to play last season allowed me to regain a lot of my confidence which is very important.

"Now it's all about this summer and this pre-season and making sure I set out as I mean to go on.

"The fans haven't been able to see me at my very best level but I hope I can get there next season and show them what I am about. I am hungry to do that and I want to prove I can cut it here.

"The fans and everyone around me have been really supportive and that's kept me going throughout the difficult months and I really want to repay those people now and use my performances to help push the team towards the top of the table where it deserves to be."

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