Everton defender Michael Keane was encouraged by his display during his side's recent victory over Crystal Palace and has challenged himself to achieve that level of performance consistently as he attempts to fully establish a place in Sam Allardyce's starting line-up after enduring a rocky start to life on Merseyside.

Much was expected of Keane when he joined the Toffees from Burnley in a deal that could eventually be worth £30m [BBC Sport] but, like many of Everton's summer recruits, he has failed to show his true form during a rather turbulent campaign at Goodison Park.

The former Manchester United graduate was substituted after 45 minutes as Everton were battered from pillar to post by Arsenal 10 days ago, but he reminded Toffees supporters and Sam Allardyce of his qualities with a strong showing against Palace and their towering forwards Christian Benteke and Alexander Sorloth.

A recent report from the Mirror claimed that Everton were preparing to sell Keane in the summer with Allardyce willing to listen to offers for the four-time England international, who was courted by United prior to joining the Merseysiders.

But the 25-year-old centre-half appears unwilling to leave Everton so soon after just one ill-fated campaign and is determined to deliver performances of a high quality on a consistent basis, something he managed to do under the tutelage of Sean Dyche at Turf Moor.

"My confidence is always growing," Keane told Evertontv. "It took a dent last week [following the Arsenal match]. I think that happened to the whole team. I need to find more consistency and play like that week in, week out.

"I know that and will be doing everything I can to achieve that. I was happy with how it went against Palace. I thought we were really solid as a team, there was a lot of communication [across the pitch], and I was really pleased.

"I thought I did well. I enjoy the battles. I knew there would be a lot of aerial balls against Benteke and the new guy [6ft 4in Palace debutant forward Alexander Sorloth] and I worked on that in training. I enjoy games like that, they suit me and I felt I played well."

Keane's search for consistency has not exactly been helped by Allardyce's constant rotation of his defence, but he will hope the former England manager will permit him to keep his place at the heart of the Toffees' defence for their trip to Watford on 24 February.

Michael Keane
Keane has not overly impressed since joining Everton from Burnley in the summer Getty Images