James Tarkowski insists Everton 'can get 10 points back quickly'

James Tarkowski insists Everton ‘can get 10 points back quickly’ and are ‘not moping’ after they were docked points by the Premier League… as aggrieved Toffees’ fans plan to make Goodison Park a bearpit for Man United clash

  • James Tarkowski insists Everton are ‘not moping’ after their 10-point deduction 
  • Sean Dyche’s side welcome Man United to Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon 
  • Nobody’s fooled by the nature of Man United’s performances this season – IAKO

James Tarkowski admits the first reaction of Everton players learning about their 10-point deduction on WhatsApp was ‘shock’. 

But with Manchester United visiting Goodison Park at its bearpit best on Sunday afternoon, Sean Dyche’s stand-in captain says the mood in the Blues camp is anything but morose.

‘There has been a good feeling this week. It’s not like a sad building where we are all moping around with doom and gloom,’ he says following the punishment which dropped Everton from mid-table into the relegation places.

‘Since I’ve been here, there has at times felt a separation between players, fans and club but this news has definitely brought everyone together. Maybe that’s the silver lining.

‘The off-the-pitch stuff has happened, but as a football team we are in a good place. We’ll crack on. It isn’t an ideal circumstance and we’d rather have those points back. However, our job as players is to put more on the board.’

Everton defender James Tarkowski has insisted his side are ‘not moping’ after the Premier League imposed a 10-point deduction on the Merseyside outfit 

He revealed there was shock among his team-mates following the news that they would be docked points

Everton fans were pictured protesting their points sanction outside the Premier League’s headquarters in London this week

Evertonians love having a cause to rally around, and the perceived injustice of being docked points for breaching Premier League profitability and sustainability rules has united a fanbase divided by the ownership of Farhad Moshiri. 

While the boardroom takes care of the appeal process and fans bring protest placards to the match, 30-year-old Tarkowski, who has worn the armband during Seamus Coleman’s injury, is giving team-mates the responsibility of avoiding a third consecutive relegation battle with the club due to move to a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock next season.

‘If we maintain our form then we will have more than enough points. We still back ourselves to be in this league,’ he says, with Everton unbeaten in four since the Merseyside derby at Anfield.

‘We have high expectations of ourselves, particularly the way we’ve been performing this season. We’ve seen recently how quickly we can pick up 10 points. We’ve had a good run of games.’

United can expect the Gwladys Street roar to be at its loudest on Sunday, while their manager Erik ten Hag is forced to watch from the stands serving a touchline ban.

‘Our fans feel you’re either with us or against us. It’s nice to have that,’ says Tarkowski. ‘Their backing has always been incredible, even when we were in a shocking position last year. This is another difficult time and they will be the same again.’

He echoes Dyche’s assessment that Everton feel a sense of unfairness because of the sanction. ‘When you look at the hard facts it does seem harsh,’ says Tarkowski. 

United’s last visit to Goodison was 14 months ago. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the visitors’ winner — his last Premier League goal — and Frank Lampard was in charge of Everton. A lot has changed since.

Dyche is in the hotseat now, having previously worked with Tarkowski at Burnley. ‘He has turned me into an old-school defender,’ says Tarkowski, aware most people do not realise he was a footballing centre-back when he started at Oldham and Brentford.

This season he has formed an excellent partnership with Jarrad Branthwaite, nine years his junior.

‘I thought Jarrad might have had a sniff with the last England squad when John Stones and Lewis Dunk dropped out,’ he says. ‘It wouldn’t surprise me if he is around it next year.’

It might be too late now for Tarkowski to add to the couple of international caps he won in 2018 but he does not suffer from an inferiority complex, even when the current rage is for defenders who can spray the ball around.

‘When I was at Brentford, I was nowhere near the player I am now defensively, but on the ball I was showing all the capabilities an England footballer shows now. So I definitely know I am capable of it,’ he says.

But Tarkowski added that Sean Dyche’s side will make up the 10 point loss ‘quickly’ with Everton dropping to 19th in the table after their points deduction

He also lumped praise his team-mate and centre-back partner Jarrad Branthwaite 

Everton take on Manchester United at Goodison Park on Sunday with fans set to make more protests ahead of the game

Protests are expected with Everton fans having already flown a banner over Manchester City’s game against Liverpool on Saturday

‘For me, my job is to keep the ball out of the back of the net more than anything, so that is what I focus my priorities on.

‘There is a balance with Jarrad. I’m more experienced and can talk him through games. He is so athletic, I trust him in dealing with situations without needing to over cover.

‘You shouldn’t forget the two lads who have not been playing recently, Keano [Michael Keane] and Ben Godfrey. They have been excellent, supporting and helping. Their opportunity will come.’

It is an example of togetherness that will go down well in the current rebellious mood at Goodison.

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