Everton striker Kevin Mirallas has been told to 'toughen up' by Toffee's boss David Moyes ahead of Saturday's fixture at home to relegation strugglers Queens Park Rangers.
Moyes' side are still in contention for a Champions League spot with just seven games to go but even a win against QPR at the weekend would not take them above Arsenal, who sit 5th in the table, and the blue half of Merseyside have the red half hot on their heels.
The comments come at a strange time as Mirallas' form has improved recently with the Belgian scoring a fantastic solo goal at White Hart Lane at the weekend and helping his team gain a vital point when key players were missing against Tottenham Hotspur.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Moyes clearly feels his striker has a lot of adapting to do in order to become a top Premier League goalscorer.
"I look at him and he's signalling to me with 15 minutes to go - so maybe he's not quite what's required at Everton or the Barclays Premier League", said the Scot.
Mirallas has made 26 appearances this season, scoring just seven goals in all competitions. But, he is only 25 and has shown good potential in front of goal and more notably impressive dribbling and pace.
"What he has got in abundance though is pace, ability, he can score goals, he can take you on and he can play in two or three different positions", Moyes admitted.
In comparison with out-of-favour striker Nikica Jelavic, who had made 30 appearances and scored just eight goals, Mirallas isn't doing too badly.
"He's nearly not quite adapted to what the Premier League is and how the games go", he concluded.
With Victor Anichebe the only other realistic option for Moyes in the striking position, it would be unwise to knock the confidence of one of his in-form players.
However, Moyes is a great manager and perhaps these comments will only serve to encourage the Belgian as the Toffee's approach tough games against the Hoops, Arsenal and Sunderland.
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