Everton’s Beattie: It’s been tough this season

He said: “It’s been very difficult and I can’t say that it hasn’t. But I knew that a chance would come along and that I needed to be ready for it. That’s the focus I’ve had for the past few months…to be ready for that chance. I feel as fit as I’ve ever been.

“It was the first time I’ve had 90 minutes for quite a while now. It was pleasing to be back in the side, albeit due to injuries to other strikers. I felt that I worked hard and that’s a big part of my game.”

He added: “Everyone knows how desperate I was to get the number 9 shirt for this club. I love it here, I really do. The past few months have been hard but the amount of support I have received from people around the city has helped.

“Even further afield, I get fans coming up to me and telling me that they know what I can do.”