February 20, 2018 / 10:46 AM / a year ago

Everton's home form crucial during crunch fixtures, says Sigurdsson

(Reuters) - Everton’s season will be defined by the next five Premier League games, according to midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson who believes that the club’s home form will be vital to securing a strong finish.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Everton vs Crystal Palace - Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain - February 10, 2018. Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates scoring their first goal. REUTERS/Peter Powell

Everton are ninth in the league and have won eight of their 14 home fixtures so far but have struggled away from Goodison Park, recording just one victory in 13 games on the road.

The Merseyside club travel to Watford, Burnley and Stoke City along with home matches against Brighton and Hove Albion and league leaders Manchester City over the coming month.

“The next five games are crucial for us - they are very important,” Sigurdsson, 28, told the club’s website (www.evertonfc.com).

“Especially the home form; if we can continue playing the way we have in the last few games at Goodison, that will really set us up.

“We need to improve our away form, and if we can start picking up points away from home, hopefully we can have a good end to the season.”

Everton have recovered from a dismal start to the campaign to climb into the top half of the table and Sigurdsson believes that manager Sam Allardyce, appointed last November, has been key to the revival.

“I have been scoring more and getting more assists, which is always nice,” the Iceland international added. “I think the manager has been getting the best out of me. But the main thing is we have been playing and defending better (as a team).

“Our overall performances have been a lot more positive since the start of the season and I think that has been shown by the amount of points we have been getting.

“We have some important games coming up where we need to make sure we do well and finish the season strongly.”

Everton return to league action against Watford on Saturday.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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