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Lukaku up for top six challenge, plays down future talk

Striker plays down Chelsea transfer rumours

Leicester City v Everton  - Premier League
Romelu Lukaku
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Everton’s star striker Romelu Lukaku has acknowledged that there’s still plenty to play for this season despite disappointing Cup exits and a wide seven-point gulf between the Blues and sixth-placed Manchester United.

Speaking with the club website, he said -

“We are going in the right direction but we have to keep working hard. We know the gap is there but we have to keep going now to try to get results game by game.

“We have to try to aim for the top six and rise to the challenge. In football you never know what can happen. I have seen a lot of stuff in this league during my time here so we’ll see!

“City was a good win for us, four goals and a clean sheet, but there is work still to be done. We have to keep our feet on the ground and keep on working hard.

“We want to catch them but we know it will be difficult so we are staying calm. We don’t need to get too carried away by this result because it is a big challenge to catch up with the teams in the top six. But it is one we will relish.”

The Belgian striker commented on the Blues’ precision on Sunday, scoring on all four of their shots on goal -

“We knew we had to be clinical and that was what we were. You know against a team like Manchester City, a top side with a great manager and players, that you have to take your chances. We played well and we were happy with the work we put in.

“We knew we would have to play on the counterattack because City would have a lot of the ball. But in games like that, when you have possession, you have to try and play your game as well.

“When we scored the first goal, we had to keep our composure. If we tried to play we knew they could be dangerous on the counterattack too. We managed it well and we are happy.

“It was nice to score. I am a striker and I need to score goals. I am happy with the win but there is a game against Crystal Palace coming up on Saturday and we will look forward to that now.”

Everton v Manchester City - Premier League
Romelu Lukaku scores!
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Lukaku has 12 Premier League goals this season, two off the top spot, and in an interview with Talksport, he played down rumours that he would replace embattled striker Diego Costa at Chelsea.

"At the moment, I'm just focused on the season.

"I'm not reading anything about it, I'm just focused with the team and whatever you guys write is whatever you write."

He again mentioned that the Toffees were looking to find some consistency as they push for a European football spot.

"It was a great result for us [against City]. It will put us back on track for the rest of the season, hopefully.

"There are a lot of games in this league. It is a difficult league so we just need to keep our focus because if we don't, we let ourselves down.

"It is going to be really difficult [to finish in top four or five], but it is a nice challenge. That is why we play football.

"For us, at the minute it is just a question of performing consistently on the pitch. That is something we didn't do in the first six months of the season.

"With the new transfers we have done and hopefully a few more players coming in to add a bit more competition to the squad... We will see what happens."