'We just need to be a bit more clinical' - Walcott encouraged by Everton's form ahead of City clash
PUBLISHED: 11:17 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:25 18 November 2019
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Former England forward Theo Walcott feels Everton have started to recover some confidence ahead of Saturday's clash with Norwich City.
Four straight Premier League defeats had seen the Toffees plummet down the table but a 2-0 home win over West Ham stabilised things, before slipping to a 3-2 loss at Brighton, conceding twice late on.
A creditable 1-1 home draw with Tottenham was then followed up by a hard fought 2-1 win at struggling Southampton ahead of the international break - leaving Marco Silva's side 15th and six points clear of the relegation zone.
"The win at Southampton was very important for us, obviously," said former Arsenal attacker Walcott, ahead of the Canaries' visit to Goodison Park. "It was important to get the three points.
"I felt like the performance didn't really matter at times, I felt like we just needed the three points to get us that winning feeling (away from home) again.
"We showed good signs, especially in the first half, but we just need to be a bit more clinical come the final third. But I felt like it was a well-deserved three points and we can hopefully build on that."
Walcott has only faced Norwich on five occasions during his career, firstly as a late substitute as a 16-year-old as Southampton won 1-0 at Carrow Road in the Championship in 2005-06, as well as during City's 3-1 win in the reverse fixture later in the season.
After earning a move to Arsenal worth around £9m soon after, Walcott helped the Gunners to win 2-1 at Carrow Road in the Premier League in November 2011, setting up Robin van Persie for the visitors' first as Arsene Wenger's team came from behind.
He also set up Lukas Podolski for the final goal at the Emirates in April 2013, as Arsenal again came from behind, after a Michael Turner header, beating City 3-1 in the Premier League.
The only other game was in the League Cup in October 2017, captaining Arsenal to a 2-1 win in extra-time, when young striker Eddie Nketiah had come on to rescue the Gunners with a brace.
The speedy 30-year-old - who hasn't featured for England in the last three years but has eight goals from 47 caps - moved to Everton for around £20m in January 2018 and has scored nine goals in 66 games so far. Walcott returned to Silva's starting line-up recently and hopes he is finding form.
"I'm personally pleased," Walcott added, speaking to EvertonTV. "Obviously I've worked very hard to get into the starting line-up and I just want to stay there.
"Results have picked up as well which is always a positive when you're in the team, the team is winning and doing well. That's always a nice feeling.
"I missed the Burnley game (a 1-0 away defeat) because of precautions of concussion and, before that, I'd worked so hard to get in the team against Man City and obviously that (the concussion) happens.
"But you can't dwell on it really, you just need to focus on the next day and try to get back and look forward to training again. That's all I could do.
"Then the manager has given me a chance to get back in the team and I thank him for that and hopefully I can just stay there and the team can keep climbing up the table."