Nigeria’s Iwobi vows to lead by example and help Everton next season

Everton's Alex Iwobi during the Premier League match at Goodison Park.BackpagePix.

Everton winger Alex Iwobi has promised to lead by example and help the club to have a good season in the new campaign.

The Toffees endured a difficult last season as they were sucked into a relegation battle but secured their safety with two matches left to the end of the season.

The 25-year-old Nigeria international was among the leading players who spearheaded Everton’s fight to keep their status in the top-flight, as he started and finished in their last 12 matches of the season.

“Evertonians appreciate hard work and the physical side,” Iwobi told Evertonfc.com. “If I have that energy, hopefully, it influences my teammates.

“It is important that I understand the culture of the city, the passion for football, and for Everton. I love playing and like to express myself through football, so when I get the opportunity, I just try my best.”

Iwobi has further outlined how manager Frank Lampard helped him to play some of his best football again.

“The manager spoke to me after the Leicester home game [a 1-1 draw on April 20] about having a bit more tactical awareness,” Iwobi continued.

“He said, ‘It is nice to have the energy to run and chase and get back, but maybe, sometimes, preserve it, chill out, so you’re not burned out'.

“Other than that, he says maintain the work ethic because it really helps the crowd engage with the team. The manager knows I have the ability to press and quickly get back into shape.”

On his plans for the new season which is over six weeks away, Iwobi said: “My first couple of years here weren’t the greatest but this [the final weeks of the season] was my best period at Everton.

“I want to use it as a platform to kick on and make more positive memories with this club. I am young and have a lot of time ahead. I want to win something with Everton – and do my best for the club.”

Iwobi was part of the Nigeria squad that took part in the recent Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches where they defeated Sierra Leone 2-1 and Sao Tome and Principe 10-0.

He was among the goals in the game against Leone Stars at Abuja National Stadium.