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

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Former Everton midfielder Joe Parkinson believes Boxing Day opponents Wigan will soon hit form in order to secure their customary Premier League survival.

Parkinson, who helped the Blues lift the FA Cup in 1995, has recently returned to the Latics to become an academy coach.

And with the two sides set to meet at Goodison on Wednesday, Parkinson insists the Lancashire outfit are equipped to get out of the relegation zone they currently occupy.

He said: "It's difficult as we have had a few injuries and suspensions, which have hit our squad quite hard.

"We haven’t got a massive group of players, but we have done it in the past and hopefully we can get a few wins and do it again sooner rather than later.

"We want to play football and the manager insists on that. That infiltrates down to the Under-18s, who I help look after.

"The football has been good but we just need to mix it up a little bit and start winning a few more games."

"It is a great place to be at the moment. From the top to the bottom they have looked to redevelop things with new training grounds and academies, and they want us to start bringing the players through which is fantastic from our side.

"But we need to be in the Premier League to keep that going. I have confidence that that is what we’ll do."

Despite his professional loyalties now restored to Wigan, Parkinson admits he has had a keen eye on Everton's impressive first half of the campaign.

"I have managed to get to a few games," he said. "I still love the Club and it's been brilliant to see them sat where they are.

"It's amazing how we had so many draws but then beat Tottenham and we were fourth. It's great to see and there is an optimism and a buzz about the Club. I love the Club to death so I hope it's onwards and upwards for them."

There are still seats available for the Boxing Day visit of Wigan. Click here to purchase tickets now.

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