CHERRIES boss Andoni Iraola has labelled the first goal in his side’s clash with Everton this weekend as “very, very important”.

Sean Dyche’s Everton are in town this Saturday (3pm) as Premier League football returns from the final international break of the season, Cherries hosting the Toffees at Vitality Stadium.

A dramatic 4-3 win over Luton Town 17 days ago marked a third consecutive game without defeat for Cherries, Iraola’s charges having taken seven points from their last nine available.

Cherries will hope to put further distance between themselves and the relegation zone with a victory over an Everton side that have not tasted victory in the Premier League in three months.

And Iraola is also wary of another sluggish start costing Cherries, his side having to battle back twice in the past two games.

Asked if he was frustrated by the international break halting Cherries’ momentum after the comeback win over Luton, Iraola responded: “It is what it is.

“I think it was a very, very good moment to have this kind of night.

“Considering the opposition, I think it was an important game for us also playing at home.

“But now our focus is to start stronger now because we have to come back against Sheffield United, against Luton.

“But now I don't think Everton will give us these chances.

“We have to start better these games.

“I think first goal will be very, very important.”

Iraola also highlighted Everton’s defensive proficiency, the Toffees with the fourth-best record in the Prem when it comes to goals conceded.

Only title rivals Liverpool, Arsenal, and Manchester City have conceded fewer goals in the league this term.

“I think it's a very good team,” continued Iraola.

“They have very good players.

“If you look at the stats, the only teams conceding less than them I think are the three fighting for the title.

“And it's true that they are not scoring as many.

“So it is they are getting a lot of times and but they are playing well.

“I think it's going to be a really difficult.

“They were much better than us in the first game we played there, and I think we have to be at our very best because every goal will be even more important considering their results and how they've been playing.

“And I think we have to start much stronger than we've done last games at home, if we want to have a chance.”