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

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Goalkeeper Tim Howard says Everton have their sights set on getting back into Europe this season.

The Blues overhauled rivals Liverpool late on last term to finish seventh in the Barclays Premier League but missed out on continental qualification for the third successive year.

A summer strengthening mission has seen manager David Moyes add Steven Naismith, Kevin Mirallas and Bryan Oviedo, while Steven Pienaar's loan move from Tottenham was made permanent.

And Howard said: "The spirit at the club is incredible. There are no egos and the guys all fight for each other.

“David Moyes has a real good recipe for success. He doesn’t just bring in every good player available, he brings in guys who can play two positions who will also buy into the Everton way. And then he guides them along.

“He’s an incredible motivator and he gets better at it every year.

“We now want to finish in the top six and get into Europe.

“The Champions League might be a stretch because we can’t spend the same kind of money as the five or six clubs in England who can.

“But on the pitch I think we have what it takes to do well in the Premier League. And getting back to Wembley would be great, too.”

Everton began their Premier League campaign with victories against Manchester United and Aston Villa before suffering a 2-0 defeat at West Brom last time out.

Yet Howard is confident the loss at the Hawthorns was nothing more than a blip and says the signs are good for the season ahead.

“At the moment we are focused and determined, we’re scoring goals and winning games but we’re also putting in good performances,” he added.

“We have had a good start to the season – it’s been brilliant.

“We played some good football in pre-season but the way we’ve been on song in most of the games so far this season has been super impressive and that part of it has been awesome.”

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