Belgian eyeing up a Champions League spot
Kevin Mirallas believes unbeaten Everton should dare to dream of a top four finish this season, and hopes he can provide the goals to help get them there.
The 25-year-old Belgium international was a prolific marksman at previous club Olympiakos, and said he relishes the chance to operate in an advanced attacking role for the Blues.
A record of 34 goals in 67 games for the Greek side brought him to the attention of the Toffees 12 months ago, and David Moyes paid £6m to secure his services in summer 2012.
Mirallas, who also played in the Champions League with Olympiakos, is desperate to repeat that achievement with Everton, and knows that after netting nine times during his debut campaign on Merseyside, his ambitions can be furthered by firing in more for Roberto Martinez’s side this term.
He said: “We feel we have a lot of quality and depth now so why not? It’s feasible for us to fight for a Champions League place.
“But we also know that in England the season is long and hard so we know we need to maintain the from we’ve shown in the last two games. Any less and it won’t happen.
“The manager knows I like playing as the main striker but we’re pretty well off in the forward department at the moment. He has spoken to me about playing just behind a striker in the hole, and that’s something I really enjoy as well.”
Mirallas maintains it would be good to continue the Blues unbeaten league run against Newcastle at Goodison on Monday, but insists wins are more important than going without defeat in the long run.
“It’s nice to go unbeaten,” he said. “But then we drew our first three games of the season. Our form after that has been great with two big wins over Chelsea and West Ham.
“But if we’d maybe won two and lost one of our opening three games we’d probably be even higher in the table than we are now. Maximum points from games is the more important thing for us.”
Mirallas’ partner on Everton’s right flank, Seamus Coleman, also wants to set himself high personal targets this term, and contribute more goals to the side. And for the Republic of Ireland international the best way to do that is to try and emulate the outstanding form of fellow Blues full-back Leighton Baines.
“He is a massive role model. Every day you are asking him something or he is coming out of his way to give you advice,” said Coleman.
“He is up and down the wing setting up goals and that’s something I model my game on.
“He helps me as much as he can and we have different qualities. I want to get more goals and that’s something he does do.
“It will be difficult to get more than him this season with the way he puts in free kicks. I haven’t set a target but I do want to add that to my game.”