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Mirallas: David Moyes played me out of position

Saturday's match winner Kevin Mirallas says his recent upturn in form is partly down the being played in the correct position.

Paul Thomas

The Belgian curled home a wonderful free kick with five minutes left against Aston Villa to seal a vital three points as Everton bounced back from their hiding at Liverpool last Tuesday.

The goal was Mirallas' sixth of the season and third in five games since the turn of the year, a timely return to form given Everton's ever increasing injury list.

Speaking after the game Mirallas revealed that he wasn't comfortable playing on the right wing, a position where he was often deployed under David Moyes last season, and that he is far more comfortable playing more centrally.

I found it hard it at first, I was playing on the right and it didn’t suit. Now in the second season, I am playing as a No 10 or 11. I play as a striker and I am playing better in this position.

The 26-year-old stressed that there are other reasons for his fine recent performances, including discussions with his father and manager Roberto Martinez about his mental attitude to the game, leading to increased consistency in both performance and fitness.
Before it used to be that I would play one game well, then two games not so good. Now I can play good consistently a lot more. I spoke with the manager and I spoke with my father.

My father told me I had quality but sometimes my mentality wasn’t good. That had to change. I spoke to some of the other players here too. But my father made the difference. I feel very fit and very good as my mentality changed. I can play strong and well in every game now.
Back to matters on the pitch and the Belgian believes the result puts Everton right back into the mix for a top four place ahead of next weekend's crucial trip to White Hart Lane.
We had to win, now we have one point more than Tottenham. Next game is Tottenham away and we will go there for three points. It is not finished with (us and) fourth place.

They are certainly interesting comments from a player who has really stepped to the fore in recent weeks and begun to show signs of his best form.

His comments regarding playing out of position are not a direct dig at Moyes per se, but certainly suggest the Scot missed a trick in playing him on the right wing, perhaps taking a 'formation first' approach rather than fitting in a system around the players.

Not that playing on the right flank did Mirallas too much harm - I seem to remember his wonder goal at Spurs last season stemmed from a run down that side.

Lets hope lighting strikes twice when we return to north London next Sunday.