STEVEN PIENAAR says he will be able to play with less pressure having opened his Everton scoring account for the season in the win over Aston Villa on Saturday.
The South African’s third-minute strike set the Blues on their way to a 3-1 win at Villa Park, with Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic also on the scoresheet.
And Pienaar believes that it is important for him to chip in with goals, whilst admitting he was enjoying his role in David Moyes’ fluid attacking line up.
"I’m happy to break the duck so early in the season," he said. "You don’t want to go too long without scoring. Hopefully I can play with a little less pressure now that the first one is out of the way.
"But it was also important to give the team a good start. That took a bit of pressure off us, and from there we silenced the crowd, which was important.
"It’s enjoyable to play. The way the manager wants us to play, we can interchange positions. You saw it against Manchester United when Felli was up front and there was a lot of running off him.
"But people like (Steven) Naismith can come in and it is good for the team, the way he plays. We don’t just play one style, which can only benefit the team."
Pienaar insisted that it was vital that Everton built on their opening day win over Manchester United by picking up all three points in the Midlands.
He said: "It was important to follow that up. If we didn’t get the three points at Villa, then the Manchester United game would have been a waste. People would have said we can only do it against the bigger teams.
"But at Villa we showed in the way we went about our business. We did what the manager asked of us, and that was important. It was a good team performance, we were all sharp, stuck to our tasks and got the win. That was important.
"If you look at the beginning of the year, the team has had a good start.
"We finished really strong last season, but now it is time for us to be strong from beginning to end. We mustn’t get carried away, it is only two games, but if we continue our good form then who knows what the future will bring for us."