John Stones was delighted to get his first full Premier League start with Everton in yesterdays 1-1 draw with Stoke City at the Britannia stadium and hopes to go on to get many more. The 19 year old was signed from Barnsley a year ago by previous manager David Moyes, but was close to joining current blues gaffer Roberto Martinez when he managed Wigan Athletic.
Stones highlighted the example he gets from Phil Jagielka, but aims to keep him out of the side.
“It’s his desire to become the best he can,” Stones told the Liverpool Echo.
“There’s always little things that Jags will tell me or I see him doing in training that I pick up on – if it’s positionally or even a pass I see him playing.
“Things like that. His experience is rubbing off on me and I can’t thank him enough for that.
“I just need to take my chance now and embrace it. I want to give the manager a problem to choose his side when Jags is back fit. That’s all I can do really.
“It’s nice to hear the faith the manager has in me. It puts a lot of confidence into us and playing me against Stoke was a special moment for me.”
Speaking of his experience of playing with Alcaraz, Stones revealed that the pair had played together in behind closed doors friendlies, so they had a knowledge of each others game.
“Me and Antolin have played a few behind closed doors games together so we know how each other works and he’s such an experienced guy as well,” he said.
“It’s a big learning curve for me, but the pros I have around me make it easier to come into a game like this.
“I love getting on the ball and trying to make things happen from the back. The manager has put his stamp on how we train and how we play and it suits me as a player and all the dressing room.
“Every week we’re trying to better ourselves and looking at the stats and trying to improve on them. They’re a key part in everyone’s game now and it’s a good indicator for how we’re coming on.”
Stones was expecting a tough test away at Stoke and that is what he got. He said: “I’ve always heard about the weather conditions at the Brit and what it’s like and it was a big test,” he said.
“The wind and the rain made it tough and added extra pressure.
“Then with the height they have I thought we coped really well. To grind out that result was good but I felt we should have had three points.”
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