In a pre-match Q&A ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with West Ham United (2.15pm BST), Amadou Onana discusses what it’s like to work under manager Frank Lampard, an area he wants to improve, the heat of the Merseyside derby and being. Desperate to return the love shown by Everton…
Amadou, you have been with us for a little over a month. How have you settled so far?
It was very easy. Everyone in the club made sure I didn’t need anything, my dressing room mates were really good with me, helping me settle in as quickly as possible. I love him.
Did anything surprise you in the first few weeks?
I have never received such a warm welcome! I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at the club and the fans for making me feel this way.
What are your first impressions of the English Premier League?
It’s a tough league. It’s different from what I’ve experienced in the past – the big difference is the speed because everything goes a little faster here. I do everything I can to adapt and adapt as quickly as possible.
I’ve started with two games off the bench before starting each of the last four matches. Did this step-by-step introduction help you?
naturally. Playtime is obviously the thing that helps me a lot and I think the introduction I got helped me settle in, find my scores and my way to it. I’m happy with what’s going on.
When you signed, you mentioned how excited you are to work under Frank Lampard. How was it?
It’s been great so far. The past two weeks have just confirmed what I had previously thought – he’s a great manager and a nice human being too. He is full of ambition and has a clear idea of how he wants to play football, which suits me well. There were only positives. Of course, he was a midfielder too, and while we’re different players, I know I’m learning from the best. I’m glad I can work with him every day.
What did you like most about Frank Lampard as a player?
It’s his end… If I can finish as best he can, I’ll be happy about that! It’s something we’re talking about. He believes that with my physical attributes I can score more and be more decisive.
You got your first taste of the Merseyside Derby last weekend. How did you find that?
It was amazing. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to play in it. The ambiance was great, our support is amazing. If you have such an atmosphere, you simply have to perform. It was good to be there and give everything I have for the club. That’s what they want from us – that’s what I want to give them to them.
We have heard your trumpet on several occasions. How do you feel?
I love him! I really loved him. I’ve said this before and it’s still hard to describe but it feels like home. The welcome I received, the love we received from the fans – they never let us down… Thank you very much to them. I think everyone here knows what it means to wear this shirt, this badge, to play for this club. It’s a big, big club with a great history. I respect this badge so much that when I go out there I can do nothing but give my all.
How is the mood in the camp at the moment?
I don’t think so only in the Liverpool game but in the last few weeks we have shown how hard we have worked. Many players came, including myself, and we get along well but the fighting spirit is key for us. We are still improving and we know there is a lot of work ahead, but we are ready to do it and we have to keep that spirit going.
Next West Ham at Goodison. How do you deal with it?
The same way we’ve approached the last few games – getting ready to fight for each other and as soon as the ball is ready to play because we have a lot of quality in this dressing room. We want to show that.