Gianfranco Zola on Sunday’s crucial point against Everton
Sunday was a very good way to end a hard-working week. The performance the team gave was brilliant – especially after the run we have been on and because they had to keep going until the end. They fought all the way and that is a great sign.
The fans were magnificent throughout and it was important that all of the players went over to say thanks to them at the end of a 2-2 draw that was the least we deserved. It was a big step and we have to take that into the next five matches.
The supporters were loud, passionate and fantastic. I am glad we could give them a little of what they deserve. I hope 34,000 can be like that this weekend against Sunderland. It needs to be a boiling hot atmosphere and I am sure it will be. I am looking forward to seeing our fans up for such a huge occasion.
The fans believed in us and it is important we believe in ourselves. What we did at Everton has given us morale, strength and confidence for Saturday. Sometimes football is strange and you see results that no one is expecting, like what we got at Goodison Park. There will be more expectation next time but we can handle it.
When people are writing you off, that is the moment something can happen. It can be the beginning of something different. I certainly think something has changed for us. I can feel it and I can smell it. What is so encouraging is that we had everything against us. We lost Valon Behrami in the warm-up, we went one-nil down and we missed a penalty. Their goal was the only mistake we made in the first half but we never gave up. We came back and in the second half we equalised when we were playing well.
Their last goal could have been a blow for everybody but we reacted and scored an equaliser straight away. It showed that we don’t give up for anything. That is the point. Don’t forget that Everton have beaten all the best teams at their ground and are a team on top form. What we did was not a simple thing.
I have to say something about Ilan. He scored a wonderful goal, from a great Julien Faubert cross, and I know he has got more goals to come. He has great quality but has had to wait for his chance. He has had to work hard to adapt to the game in this country but he has got the ability and I am sure he will get more opportunities.
We have lost Scott Parker for Saturday but I am sure, with this spirit, everyone else will work harder to make sure his absence is not too big. We will fight until the end and I know that applies to everyone at the club, including the supporters.
The other results went our way at the weekend but all that matters is what we do. Everton is behind us now and we must think only of getting the result we need against Sunderland. It is a going to be a big day and I can’t wait.
Thanks for your support