Joel Robles admits relief at finally playing regular football at Everton

The goalkeeper says it was "difficult" for him when his appearances were few and far between.

Everton goalkeeper Joel Robles has told the club's website that he found it difficult when he was only making sporadic appearances for the club, and admitted his desperation to continue as first-choice goalkeeper.

The Spaniard followed manager and compatriot Roberto Martinez from Wigan Athletic to the Toffees in 2013, but made just nine league appearances across his first two seasons on Merseyside.

However, after appearing only in cup ties for the first six months of the current campaign, he appears to have finally displaced veteran stopper Tim Howard as the club's number one, and could make a 10th consecutive start in all competitions this weekend.

The 25-year-old admitted that he had been finding it tough appearing only every few weeks for the first two years of his Everton career, and highlighted the importance of being able to play on a regular basis.

Robles told the club's website: "For a keeper it is important to play consecutive games. When you have a situation where you play but then your next game is in a few weeks or months then it is difficult.

"I hope this weekend is the 10th successive game for me. I am working hard every day; I am concentrating on everything that I do and that is all I can do."

Since coming into the side on a more regular basis, the Spanish stopper has impressed between the posts for the Merseyside club, keeping five clean sheets in his last eight appearances.

Everton host Arsenal on Saturday lunchtime as they look to push up towards the top half of the table in the back end of an underwhelming season which sees them currently sitting in 12th place.

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