Everton’s Steven Pienaar: My family didn’t feel settled in London

Steven Pienaar admits his family struggled to settle in London after the midfielder moved back to Everton from Tottenham Hotspur

Steven Pienaar has revealed his family’s happiness played a part in his decision to quit Tottenham Hotspur and return to Everton.

The South Africa international spent the second half of last season on loan at Goodison Park after joining Spurs in 2011 and sealed a permanent transfer back to Merseyside last week in a £4.5m deal.

“My family never felt at home in London – for me it wasn’t bad, I feel at home wherever I go – but as soon as I moved back [to Everton] for the loan, they didn’t want to go back to London again,” revealed the midfielder.

“Sometimes you have to consider that as well. But the most important thing is for me to be happy, and I’m happy at this club.”

Meanwhile, Tony Hibbert believes Everton need to make a strong start to the season if the Toffees are to improve on last season’s seventh-place finish.

“We don’t know ourselves why we haven’t made a good start to the season [in recent years],” said Hibbert.

“We’re looking at things, but we’re not doing anything too different because we finished the season very strong, and now we just need to kick on as soon as the new season starts.

“I don’t think you can necessarily say we want to be in the top four or top five because the way it is now and the amount of money that is getting spent it will be hard.

“We have to make a good start because we know we finish well.”

Pienaar added: “The players tend to wake up in the second half of the season. But hopefully we can start well this season, and finish strongly.”

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