Landon Donovan: Everton can use Cup 'blueprint' to improve league standing
Published 15:27 28/01/12 By MirrorFootball
Everton forward Landon Donovan believes last night's hard-working FA Cup win over Fulham points the way forward for the rest of the year.
The Toffees put their indifferent Barclays Premier League form aside as they came from behind to reach the fifth round with a 2-1 success at Goodison Park.
Donovan, who is now six games in to a second short loan spell at the club, set up both goals with crosses for scorers Denis Stracqualursi and Marouane Fellaini.
It was the least the Merseysiders deserved for their greater industry after falling behind to a controversial Danny Murphy penalty, and Donovan now expects them to improve on their 14th position in the league.
Donovan said: "This shows us a blueprint of what works.
"We have seen what doesn't work last weekend and in the last few weeks.
"Now we see if we play like this we have chance to win.
"If we have a little more quality we can score a few more goals and that attitude and aggression, that willingness to really get after it and go for it, is something we should always play with.
"If we do we are going to have a chance every time we step onto field."
Everton were aggrieved when referee Howard Webb pointed to the spot in the 13th minute after Damien Duff's shot struck John Heitinga's hand.
The hosts felt the Dutchman had little chance to get his arm out of the way as he slid in to block at point-blank range.
But the response was impressive as Argentinian Stracqualursi headed his first goal for the club and Fellaini settled the tie 17 minutes from time.
Stracqualursi has made limited impression since arriving on a season-long loan from Tigre, but his 27th-minute equaliser justified his selection ahead of Louis Saha.
Donovan, who is on a short-term deal from Los Angeles Galaxy, said: "It is easier for me coming from America, I speak the language and I have been here before. For Denis it is completely foreign.
"But he is a really nice kid and the guys like being around him and he works hard.
"You'll find in this game that if you do those things, people will pull for you. We're all very happy for him."
Donovan, as in his previous spell at Goodison two year ago, has added a dimension to Everton's attack and feels the move has benefited him considerably.
The 29-year-old, who is due to return to the United States at the end of next month, said: "I feel good, this league will do that to you. You get fit quickly.
"It has been nice to get back in the team.
"We have all been a little frustrated with our performances lately but this was a good step in the right direction."
Fulham had seemed evenly matched with Everton going into the game as both teams are separated only by goal difference in the bottom half of the Premier League.
Manager Martin Jol had no complaints about the result but was disappointed with the performance and must now rouse his side for the closing months of the season.
The Londoners have already endured a long season having played their first Europa League qualifier last June.
Jol said: "We need to push on now. We can focus on the league, that is the only positive thing.
"Of course we are disappointed to go out of the FA Cup but now we have to focus on the league."
Jol accepts the team must address their away form having won just once on the road in the league this season.
Yet aside from a 3-1 reverse at struggling Blackburn a fortnight ago, he believes there are signs for encouragement.
He said: "Sometimes you get the feeling, especially over the last couple of months, even away from home, that we have had good results.
"We haven't had a lot of wins but you can't say we didn't do well away from home at the games at Arsenal, Chelsea, Wigan, Sunderland. The only disappointing result was against Blackburn.
"Overall, away from home, we have done well and at home we won four or five games against the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal, Bolton.
"So, overall we have done well."