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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Andy Lewis @efc_andylewis

John Heitinga believes he is playing the best football of his career.

The Dutch international has been one of Everton's top performers this term - stringing together a run of consistently excellent displays at the heart of the defence.

His form since Christmas has been particularly impressive, helping the team keep six clean sheets in the last 11 games.

And Heitinga said: “This is the best season of my career. I’m in great shape, the team is performing well, and I feel the people at Everton value and trust me a great deal.

"We’re now due to face Liverpool in the FA Cup. A Merseyside derby at Wembley will be an amazing experience.”

Heitinga was again immense at the back in Tuesday's stunning FA Cup quarter-final win over Sunderland.

Meanwhile, Skipper Phil Neville says that result has sent confidence levels soaring to a new high and has also set-up a thrilling final chapter to the 2011/12 season.

He said: "On Tuesday up in the hotel in Sunderland I was thinking we must win today and keep our season alive. You can imagine the massive comedown had we not got the right result. It would have been a long old end to the season.

"But now people are starting to book their Wembley trips, they are looking at it and thinking there is still a chance we can qualify for Europe through the league.

"That shows what is there and we have it all to play for. We have a great opportunity in front of us, confidence is sky high and we have to really build on this momentum we have at the moment."
Tickets for Saturday's game against West Bromwich Albion are now on general sale. To buy yours call 0871 663 1878 or click here.

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