Belfast Telegraph

Osman pleased with Toffees grit

Everton midfielder Leon Osman believes Sunday's 2-1 win at QPR proves the Toffees do have the fighting qualities to win ugly when they need to.

Aaron Lennon sank Rangers with a 77th-minute winner to move Everton up to 13th in the Barclays Premier League and nine points clear of the relegation places.

Everton have been accused of being too soft this season after failing to replicate last year's fifth-place finish, but Osman insists they showed their mettle with a battling display at Loftus Road.

"Certain games sometimes call for certain styles of play and the way the game goes dictates how you end up playing," Osman said.

"Every time we lost the ball it was sent up to the edge of our box so we had to fight and scrap for second balls.

"It was a scrappy match defensively but we proved we can do that side of the game and then once you've done that, you have the opportunity to hit teams on the counter attack, which we tried to do.

"There was probably not as much football played as we usually like but there's no problem winning like that as well."

The victory was Everton's second in a row in the league and saw Roberto Martinez's side bounce back from a disappointing 5-2 Europa League defeat to Dynamo Kiev on Thursday.

"It was a massive win for us after we suffered a big disappointment in the week," Osman continued.

"It hasn't quite happened in the league this season so to put back-to-back wins together was really important for us.

"We were terrific at the back, especially Phil Jagielka. I thought he was at his best and we dealt with all their situations quite well.

"It was always going to be difficult with the pitch as it is and with the way they played.

"They made it difficult for us but we stood up to that challenge head on and came away with a victory.

"We've still got eight games left and we're going to concentrate on those games now and just see how many points we can pick up."


From Belfast Telegraph