Wayne Hennessey is preparing for his 16th top flight appearance of the season at Everton on Saturday afternoon, going into the game just four points off a top ten place but also looking over their shoulder in a league where the competition for places is setting new levels for being so tight.
“I have never seen it this tight before and it’s going to come down to the wire. We have just got to be concentrating on ourselves and obviously you don’t want to look at the teams in and around you and if we take care of our job, we should be absolutely fine.”
The side go into the game on the back of picking up a home point against Newcastle United but Hennessey believes on another day the side could have been looking at taking maximum points from their north east opponents.
“We knew it was going to be a difficult game but if you see the amount of chances we created you have to give credit to their back five because they played really well. Hopefully we could have come away with a win but it’s another point on the board so we will take it.
“Our second half performance in that game gives us massive confidence and the boys played really well and on another day we could have won by three or four to one.
“We are doing everything we can and it would be a big problem if we were not creating chances but we are and had one cleared off the line, could have had another penalty and luck could turn at any point so hopefully it will.”
Attention now turns to the meeting on Merseyside against an Everton side who go into the game on the back of the 5-1 defeat at Arsenal last weekend but the Eagles ‘keeper believes they will be ready to put that result behind them.
“I am sure Sam Allardyce has had them working hard in training and they will be up for this game, but that’s no different to what we have been doing and our preparation starts the minute your last game comes to an end so we have been concentrating on getting prepared for the game.
“Everton are a good team with some fantastic players in and around their squad so we have to be careful but have been doing our homework on them.”
Looking at the home side’s squad it is Wayne Rooney who Hennessey picks out as one of the main danger men from Allardyce’s line-up.
“He drops into pockets and has a good range of passing and can also come up with a goal here and there so he is a great threat, he has been a fantastic player in the game.”
No surprise that our 31 year old picks out the man at the other end of the pitch, Jordan Pickford, as another who has impressed him in the Goodison ranks.
“I like to look at goalkeepers and Jordan is a fantastic talent and I’m sure he will be one of England’s finest. He is going into a good team now and has Martyn Margetson, the goalkeeping coach there who I have known for a long time so that is a massive point for Jordan Pickford’s game and I am sure you will see his performances increasing and he will be a fantastic goalkeeper.”
With an injury to Julian Speroni it is 20 year old Dion Henry who has the opportunity to take his place on the bench this weekend and Hennessey’s advice to the youngster is to be ready for his chance when it comes along.
“He has been training with us for a while now, he is a really nice lad and he’s still young and learning but hopefully he will be in and around the first team now so needs to just keep working hard and be prepared for his chance and try and grab it with both hands.”
The final twelve games are set to see one of the most exciting finishes to the Premier League season for some time and the dressing room is in a good place, ready to show the fans their quality with some important results.
“The dressing room is fantastic at the moment and we are all positive. Training is really good and the gaffer has bought us in as a unit and we are all really happy and hopefully the results will show that.
“Hopefully we can keep climbing up the table and show the fans what we are really made of and obviously all of us here put that shirt on and want to perform for the fans and show them how good we really are.”
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