Bily reveals Euro vision
Diniyar Bilyaletdinov believes it is vital for Everton to return to European competition.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 11/04/11 3:52pm
Russian midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov believes it is vital for Everton to return to European competition.
The Toffees have not played in Europe this season for the first time in four years, having narrowly missed out on qualifying last term.
David Moyes' men are faced with another battle to clinch a European place after overcoming a poor start to the current campaign.
But Bilyaletdinov reckons European football is crucial to developing the Everton squad and helping them compete with every type of Premier League team.
While the Blues favour a passing game when at full strength, injuries forced them to adopt a more direct approach for the 3-0 win at Wolves on Saturday.
"It's better for Everton to take part in European competition because they can raise their standard, and it helps us to see we can be better and play another style," he told the Liverpool Echo.
"Teams like Everton can play a passing game. For now we've got injuries and although we've got a lot of clever players, sometimes you do need to be more direct. We have many injuries at the moment, so we had a specific plan for the match (against Wolves).
Pass and move
"It wasn't our typical approach of passing and moving. We knew we needed hard work, and we didn't do it too well for the first 15 minutes but after we scored we did well after that."
Bilyaletdinov needed time to adjust to the physical nature of the English game while also working on his aerial ability after arriving from Lokomotiv Moscow in August 2009.
But after scoring his ninth goal for the club against Wolves, the 26-year-old feels he is a better all-round player.
"You have to be tough and win headers," he said. "David Moyes asked me to learn that.
"It was something new for me when I came, but sometimes you have to do it in English football. Some games you only get to head the ball or tackle everywhere.
"It's different in the Premier League. Most teams play very strongly, but then there are Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham, who always try to play in the same style.
"The others teams play a fast, high tempo, game but it's different from the continent. The Spanish game isn't so fast but they make the ball work and move it quickly. England has powerful players."
Bilyaletdinov won the club's goal of the season award last term for his strike in the 3-1 win over United and he hopes to be in contention again after his strike against Wolves.
"My favourite was against Manchester United last year but I really enjoyed it," he added. "I've actually scored from a longer distance in the cup against Spartak.
"I want to score goals and be influential for the team and the fans. It's important for the supporters that we carry on working hard."