Mirallas will prove vital in Everton's Champions League push, says Osman

The £6 million signing from Olympiakos scored a brilliant solo goal as the Toffees edged to a 1-0 victory over Stoke to close the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea on Saturday
Everton midfielder Leon Osman believes Kevin Mirallas will prove key in the club's push to qualify for  the Champions League after the Belgian scored the only goal in the 1-0 victory over Stoke.

Mirallas' solo goal in the first half of the clash at Goodison Park on Saturday earned the Toffees all three points and drew them within four points of fourth-place Chelsea, who lost to Southampton.

The forward was a £6 million signing from Olympiakos in the summer and Osman thinks his match-winning ability gives Everton an extra edge when he is able to get on the ball.

"It was an important win," Osman told reporters. "We knew what type of game it was going to be.

"We knew it wasn't going to be about the football you play, it was going to be about battling and maybe nicking a goal with a good individual moment and that's what happened.

"Kevin can light up a game at times. It's important that we try and get him in the game as much as possible.

"You might get 20 minutes when he's not in the game, but when he is we all know what he can produce.

"He's certainly showed he's got the quality. At times he's been a real plus for us the way he goes about his job and the skill he's got.

"It's vital we try and keep him out there more. We need to get more games in him and more minutes in those games."

David Moyes introduced young midfielder Ross Barkley from the bench and Osman, fresh off his latest England call-up, explained how he tries to mentor the promising playmaker.

"I was pleased for Ross," the 31-year-old added. "It shows the manager's belief in him that he threw him on in a tight game. He didn't disappoint.

"I've spoken to him about earning the manager's trust; to keep the ball ticking over in certain areas and then, when he has a chance, to show what he's capable of.

"And I thought he showed a bit more maturity than he had done in the past."