James Rodriguez has opened up on his relationship with Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti, declaring it like “father and son”.
The Colombian midfielder followed Ancelotti to Goodison Park having worked with him previously at Real Madrid and was an instant hit as he helped fire the Toffees to the top of the table earlier in the season.
Despite another injury layoff keeping him out of the last four matches, Everton have managed to stay in the top four hunt without Rodriguez’s services, but now prepare to welcome him back for the crucial run-in.
And Rodriguez feels he can build on his initial contribution as he sets his sight on bigger things for Everton.
“I’m reasonably happy with how I am playing. I think there’s more to come and I can hit some better form but when I’ve performed well, it’s had a positive effect on the team,” he told evertonfc.com.
“And that’s what I want: for the team to play good football and perform at a high standard.
“I’ve come to a good club, a club that wants to achieve big things. I’m with a manager (Carlo Ancelotti) who knows exactly what I’m like. I get on fantastically well with him, just like a father and son.”
Rodriguez has dipped in with his fair share of goals and assists this season, scoring five and creating four in just 18 appearances.
After recovering from a calf strain he now looks set to feature in Everton’s first game back after the international break against Crystal Palace – the start of a fairly decent run of fixtures in their chase for Champions League qualification.
But the 29-year-old insists Everton are not looking much further than their clash with The Eagles, and is under no illusions about the difficult task at hand.
“Many of my hopes and dreams have come to fruition, but when you fulfil your dreams, you want to achieve even more, so here we are, now, taking things step by step,” Rodriguez added.
“Every game is like a final, a battle, but that’s what we’re here for and you have to make sure you’re in good shape and strong mentally and prepared for everything, as it’s going to be tough.”