Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin has highlighted the importance of Duncan Ferguson in helping him feel like a true number 9 at Goodison Park.

The 23-year-old goal-getter was struggling for consistency in the first half of the season, but since December he has been in scintillating form.  


The striker indicated that Marco Silva’s sacking and Ferguson’s appointment as interim Everton manager turned out to be the turning point in his season.

The striker revealed that the day Ferguson became interim boss, he wasted little in time in giving him the confidence he needed to feel like the main man up front for Everton.

Calvert-Lewin scored a brace in Everton’s 3-1 win over Chelsea in the subsequent game and admits that for the first time in his career a manager made him feel like a true number 9.

He believes that the Chelsea game is when everything changed for him at Everton and he has not looked back since then.

“As soon as Duncan got the job, he kind of gave me a free rein”, the striker told the Times.

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“I came in on Friday morning, he put his arm around me straight away and gave me the confidence that I needed.

“He said, ‘You are going to be my man up top, you are going to play.’

"And, because of the relationship we already had, he was asking me what I thought about certain formations.

"It was the first time I had been given that responsibility to feel like a true No 9, I guess.

“It gave me that instant uplift: this is my time now. I need to come to the fore for myself, and the club, but also to thank Duncan [one of his youth coaches at Everton] for the faith he put in me.

“It could have gone differently, and we might not be sitting here talking, but I scored two, and we got the result [a 3-1 win]. That day was really important.

“Every time there were conversations about not scoring enough goals, I always believed the time would come when people asked me, ‘What has changed?’ The catalyst was that Chelsea match.

"I lived up to expectations.”

Calvert-Lewin has scored ten goals in 14 league games since Silva’s sacking at Everton and is flourishing under the Portuguese's successor, Carlo Ancelotti.