Abdoulaye Doucoure hopes to make most of Everton return with an eye on Europe

·2 min read

Everton midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure plans to make the most of being given a chance to play out the remainder of the season.

The Frenchman feared his campaign was prematurely ended when he broke a bone in his foot in March.

However, he made his comeback 10 weeks later at Aston Villa on Thursday but the goalless draw damaged the club’s European hopes.

Doucoure is desperate to secure a place in Europe next season and insists not winning their remaining two home matches, starting against relegated Sheffield United on Sunday, is not an option.

“It was a hard injury for me, the diagnosis was not so good at the beginning,” he told evertontv.

“I was expecting that my season was finished but I did everything in my power to come back on to the pitch.

“My target was to come back before the end of the season and I’m happy to be back here and helping the team.

“We have an opportunity to get into Europe, so I was very happy and excited to come into the team.

“We have to win at home – we don’t have any other option.

“The form at home has not been so good, but I think before the end of the season we can change that and can win the next two games.”

Manager Carlo Ancelotti made European football the primary target at the beginning of the season but inconsistent form – Everton have won back-to-back league matches just once since December – has put that in jeopardy.

The club’s woeful record at Goodison Park, where they have taken just 19 points from a possible 51, has put even more scrutiny on their next two fixtures at home.

“I think it is a good pressure to have. We are professional and we know pressure is part of our job,” added Doucoure.

“We know the pressure is on us to be successful. Personally, I have always dreamed to play in Europe one day, so it would be huge for me to do that.

“This is the biggest opportunity I have had so I will do everything I can to help the team and be in Europe at the end of the season.”