Kone promises to prove his worth
Published 04/06/2014 | 16:22
Everton striker Arouna Kone admits he has to prove his worth next season after missing seven months of his maiden campaign through injury.
The Ivory Coast international sustained a knee injury in October which prevented him from playing again, meaning he managed just six appearances without a goal after his £6million move from Wigan last summer.
Kone is to forego a lengthy summer holiday to ensure he is back to full fitness by the time pre-season comes around.
"The most important thing is for me to be in the best possible shape I can be for the start of next season," he told evertontv.
"I have decided not to go on a big holiday, I am staying in Europe to work hard over the summer period, so I can hit the ground running when pre-season starts in July.
"This season has been pretty much a non-starter for me so next season is when it starts.
"It all about working hard so the fans can see the best of Arouna Kone.
"It is going to mean an awful lot to me to wear that shirt next season because I've not made my mark in the club's history.
"The season coming for me is where I have to prove my worth and I am ready to take on that challenge."
Ironically Kone believes he was just starting to find his form in his fifth Premier League substitute appearance when he sustained the injury against Hull - against whom he came closest to scoring his first goal when he hit the post - on October 19.
And unfortunately for him in his absence the team played the sort of football he thinks will benefit his style of play.
"I realised the fans and coaching staff were waiting to see the best of Arouna Kone and around that time I felt I was coming into a bit of form so it was an extra disappointment," the 30-year-old added.
"As a team Everton have had a fantastic season which gives me a huge motivation to prepare for next season.
"On a personal side, it has not gone as I'd hoped. I look back with a bit of pain and regret.
"I have not played as many games as I would have liked due to this injury. It is something I never thought would have happened.
"It is painful to sit in the stands and watch.
"I would often say to myself that the style of play I was watching would suit me down to the ground.
"You turn that around and it is a positive and hopefully we can make next season more successful than this one has been."