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Sunday 25 June 2017

Romelu Lukaku determined to push Everton to 'greatness'

Striker Romelu Lukaku wants to make Everton great again
Striker Romelu Lukaku wants to make Everton great again

Romelu Lukaku's ambition is help Everton achieve "greatness" but believes the only way to do that is if every player pushes each other to the limit.

The Belgium striker is the Premier League's joint-leading scorer with 17 after his goal in the 2-0 win over Sunderland. Ross Barkley is his next closest team-mate with just four.

There is no doubt Lukaku is the key player in Ronald Koeman's side but the 23-year-old is more focused what the team can achieve.

He is happy to lead by example, though.

"As a striker you want to score as much as you can but the games are the most important thing," he said.

"If you think too much about your individual stats that is when things go wrong. I want to win and make sure my team achieves greatness.

"I want to win trophies. I don't think we will do that this year but I just want to win and finish as high as I can and push my team-mates.

"I want to push them to the limits and that is the only way for us to get better, to push each other."

Lukaku's goal on Saturday equalled Everton's club-record Premier League tally set by Duncan Ferguson, now a member of the first-team coaching staff.

He has reached the 60-goal milestone in 110 fewer matches - just 129 - and Ferguson knew his name in the history books was only going to be present for a limited time.

The former Scotland international has been working with Lukaku to get the best out of him and gently winding him up about the record.

"Duncan's spoken to me about it to keep me sharp and test me a bit," Lukaku said.

"Football's like that as you have to test yourself if you want to improve.

"It was for a good cause as he wants the team to win and I want to win and score as many goals as I can.

"Me and Duncan have been working for four years now and I am grateful for his help every day, but I'm also grateful to (former manager) Roberto Martinez and his staff and Ronald Koeman and his brother for helping me through this journey.

"I just do what I have to do on the pitch. When I got close (to the record) people started telling me about it, but for me the most important thing is helping my team-mates to win and at the minute everything is going well."

Ferguson has helped Lukaku with his physicality on the pitch and the Belgian is on course to outstrip the 25 goals he scored last season, becoming the first Everton player to do so since Gary Lineker almost three decades previously.

However, the former Chelsea forward knows there are plenty of other areas for him to improve.

"I try to get even better in the aspects I am good at but I don't forget the aspects where I can improve," he said.

"I am grateful to every person who has helped me throughout this journey but it is not done yet.

"I am 23 years old and there is a lot to learn and I am relishing the challenge.

"I want to be a complete player and score in every type of way as that is when you are dangerous in every game.

"There is always someone out there who has something you don't have or is doing something you can't do and that is the challenge I give myself every day."

Press Association

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