Oumar Niasse has revealed the reception he received off Evertonians on Wednesday gave him the self-belief to end his goal drought for the Toffees.
The striker's 16-month exile from the first-team was ended ahead of the club's 3-0 Carabao Cup win over Sunderland, and he marked the occasion with his maiden strike for the senior side in front of the Gwladys Street End with a superbly taken volley.
Speaking to the Blues' wesbite, Niasse explained how the Goodison faithful's almighty cheer when his name was read out - both before the encounter and as he made his way onto the pitch as a substitute - boosted his confidence and fired him up to repay their faith in him.
He said: “The fans made me feel very good, honestly. They made me feel like the confidence was coming back and I was thinking I want to give back to them because of what they are giving to me.
“They gave me a great feeling when I went to warm up. I said to myself, ‘the only thing I can do is to try to put the ball in the net’. That was a special moment that they gave to me.
“It [the goal] was something I was waiting for and I think also they were waiting for that - for me to give them a goal. Like I said, it was a great feeling and very important for me.
Niasse had not made an appearance for Everton's first-team since March 2016 after he was frozen out of the set up by Ronald Koeman from the beginning of last term.
Despite not being up for selection, Niasse kept his head down and played well for the club's Under-23s as well as going on loan to Hull City in the second half of last term.
I'm so fucking happy for him, he deserves nothing less. Well done Oumar Niasse 👏🏻👏🏻.— We’re Everton FC (@WereEvertonFC) September 20, 2017
His positive attitude and work ethic have endeared him to Everton's fanbase and, now that he is being given an opportunity once more with the Blues failing to a land new striker in the summer, the Senegal international revealed what had kept him going when others would have lost hope.
He added: “In life, everything can happen. That is what I am saying, always.
"Sometimes you think everything is going against you but it’s just the way that God chooses, the way that God gives to you.
"You have to live with that and be the nicest person you can be, work hard, be a professional and, even if you’re Under-18, Under-23 or with the first team, you have to work hard. That’s what I think is the best thing to do."