Everton are 'starting to flow again' says assistant manager Steve Round
The Toffees beat Oldham in the FA Cup last night
Wednesday 27 February 2013
Assistant manager Steve Round believes Everton showed glimpses of returning to their best form in the 3-1 FA Cup fifth-round replay triumph over Oldham.
David Moyes' side closed February with a victory having endured four winless matches in all competitions, including a dramatic 2-2 draw with their npower League One opponents which made the Merseyside return necessary.
Goals from recalled forward Kevin Mirallas and Leon Osman came either side of a Leighton Baines penalty and, although Latics' FA Cup goal hero Matt Smith climbed off the bench to power home another towering header, the Toffees' secured a home quarter-final tie against Wigan in relative comfort.
"You go up and down through the season, I think everyone's the same," said Round. "You see that with even the boys who are right at the top.
"You don't flow impeccably all the way through the campaign. When you don't you've got to dig deep and grind out a result and then you wait for the form to come back.
"I thought we saw signs of it [last night]. It was starting to flow again and, with Kevin Mirallas coming back into some sort of form and showing what he's capable of, the signs look good."
Injuries have lent a stop-start feel to Mirallas' debut season in English football.
He got the nod ahead of Steven Naismith to face Oldham and responded with a well-taken finish from Darron Gibson's measured 15th-minute cross - a first Everton goal since September's 3-0 Barclays Premier League win at Swansea.
Round singled both players out for praise afterwards, but joked Gibson might have got a touch carried away when he spurned a gilt-edged opportunity to add a late fourth.
"I thought Gibson was excellent in midfield. He dominated the play and the passing and for Kevin it shows what a good technical player he is the way he just guided that ball into the net.
"With a little bit more quality finishing I think Darron would have got a goal himself - I think he may have been celebrating before he made contact and that's why he missed so I'll have a word with him about that.
"We're very pleased with Darron and certainly pleased that Kevin's back and showing some sort of form."
For Oldham caretaker manager Tony Philliskirk it was a case of what might have been as he experienced defeat for the first time in five matches since Paul Dickov resigned at the start of the month.
Despite being on the back foot for much of the first half, former Everton youngster Jose Baxter came agonisingly close to drawing Latics level with an exquisite curling shot that struck the post.
Additionally, a wayward clearance from Phil Jagielka struck Gibson on the arm but referee Michael Oliver waved away penalty claims.
"At the time on the sideline I didn't realise," Philliskirk said. "Three or four people have said it could have been a penalty.
"But I don't want to criticise the referee. I thought all the officials were excellent. The referee will have given that decision in good faith.
"Jose's chance was so unlucky - it's actually hit the inside of the post and come out. If you get back to 1-1, who knows, but Everton are a fantastic team."
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