Oumar Niasse says he holds no grudge against Everton boss Ronald Koeman after proving his worth with match-winning goals against Bournemouth.
The Senegalese striker replaced a bruised and bloody Wayne Rooney at Goodison Park on Saturday with the Toffees trailing to Joshua King’s opener, but went on to score twice and secure a 2-1 win.
Let off easy?
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"All credit must go to Oumar Niasse because he's waited a long time for his chance," Koeman told Sky Sports. "He took it last Wednesday and he did it again today. He made the difference."
If Koeman had it his way, The 27-year-old would not even be at the club, but after failing to find a replacement for Romelu Lukaku he had no choice but the keep the player who was sent off on loan to Hull City last season.
"It was a difficult time for me but I wouldn't say anything against anyone here or against the team," Niasse said after his frustrating spell on the margins of the team.
"[Koeman] just said this was a new opportunity for me. I didn't want to go over the past with him. There is nothing to say about that.
"He said [last year] I wasn't ready and maybe I wasn't ready. I went away, I learned and I have come back stronger. Even if I wasn't on the pitch for every game or was with the U23s I was running on the pitch like a dog.
"I tried just to keep my head on me, to not lose it, and the best way to do that is to just keep working hard. It is not a case of something bad happening and so I give up. I kept saying to myself, 'anything can happen'.
"It was a hard time with the U23s, seeing my team-mates enjoying the games here without me. I was with the U23s instead, travelling and playing at empty stadiums, but that's life."