Next Match:

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

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.

Test Liverpool Echo PNG

EVERTON FC must be  prepared to dig in  and grind out results  between now and  the end of the  season if they are to  secure Champions  League football,  according to  Leighton Baines.

The Blues make  the long trip to  Norwich City on  Saturday knowing  three points are  required to keep up  the pressure on  those sides above  them in the table.

Baines admits  Everton face a  tough task at  Carrow Road but  says with the right  approach they can  get back on track  following a  frustrating week.

After defeat at  Manchester United  in the league, David  Moyes' side were  held by Oldham  Athletic in the FA  Cup when striker  Matt Smith headed  home the equaliser  in the dying seconds.

Baines is eager for  Everton to make a  clean break from  those  disappointments but  says performances  may not be pretty  from now on.

With little room  for error, the England  left-back insists the  result is all that  matters and  consequently the  attractiveness of  Everton's play may  suffer.

"They are a good  side, Norwich," said  Baines.

"They started the  season well.

"We have found it  tough against them  and we had a tough  game against them  down there last  season. They are  strong at home.

"If we want to  achieve something  draws aren't going to  cut it. We have to find  ways to get games  won. Sometimes it  may not be pretty, but  it is about getting  games won.

"We have got to  keep clean sheets and  get people scoring."

Everton had got  their noses in front at  Oldham on Saturday  night when Phil  Jagielka headed home  just after half-time.

However, Moyes'  men were unable to  see out the Cup tie  and were punished in  the last seconds.
Baines, though  disappointed, is keen  to look forward to  Tuesday night's replay  and securing a  quarter-final match  with Wigan Athletic.

"It was a bit of a  shock because the  goal came so late,"  added Baines.

"We were  disappointed because  we want to go  through  but we have  got the replay at  Goodison Park and so  we will fancy our  chances.

"We must now pick  ourselves up and go  again.  We can't really  ask for much more  than a home tie with a  side who play a couple  of leagues below you.

"If we lose then we  only have ourselves to  blame.  Our destiny is  in our own hands.

"We have got to  look forward now.

"We would've liked  more from the last  two games but we still  believe we can achieve  something.

"The games coming  up are very winnable."

John Lundstram,  meanwhile, has joined  League One  high-flyers Doncaster  Rovers on loan.

The midfielder, who  has made 13  appearances for  Everton under-21s this  season, goes to the  Keepmoat Stadium  for a month.

The Post

PHIL NEVILLE believes Everton are ready to shake off the effects of any lingering New Year hangover and begin the sprint for European qualification.

David Moyes's side return to Premier League action this weekend when they make the long trip to Norwich City on Saturday.

Everton stand six points adrift of a Champions League berth and two points and one place behind fifth-placed Arsenal, who occupy one guaranteed Europa League qualification spot.

Sixth place may ultimately prove sufficient depending on who contests the FA Cup final, with the Goodison outfit themselves still harbouring hopes of reaching Wembley.

Neville, though, is eyeing an improvement in league form with Everton having won only one of five top-flight matches since the festive period.

"We need to start winning games," admitted the club skipper. "Now is the time that we will start hitting form.

"If you look at all the teams in the Premier League, I don't think anyone is flowing or playing the type of stylish football they did before Christmas.

"It happens every year. January and February are those months where you have to slug it out. You come out the Christmas period where you have played so many games in a short space of time, and there's almost a lull where the pitches are bad and the weather is freezing cold and players are maybe fatigued.

"But it's now when the nights start to get lighter and the weather turns and you have a bit of blue sky and sunshine in training and you see teams hitting form again."

Neville added: "We are chasing a European place and have a massive carrot in front of us in terms of the next two months.

"We have 12 games left in the league and we want to be in Europe, and that means we have to start winning games."

Everton were held to a dramatic 1-1 draw by Norwich at home earlier in the season and fought out a 2-2 draw at Carrow Road last season.

The Canaries haven't won in their last nine Premier League games, but Neville said: "I'd say Norwich is one of the tougher away games. They gave us a good game there last year and this season they got a well-deserved point at Goodison.

"Chris Hughton has built a good solid young team. Norwich are now stabilising themselves in the premier league, and if they stay up they can start to grow and maybe achieve what Stoke have in being a top 10 team."

Everton follow their trip to East Anglia with their FA Cup fifth round replay at home to npower League One strugglers Oldham Athletic, which has now been brought forward 24 hours to next Tuesday due to live ITV coverage.

Should they progress, they will host Wigan Athletic in the quarter-finals on Saturday, March 9 (12.45pm) which will also be broadcast by ITV.

But Neville said: "It's an incentive but I don't think we can look much further than the replay against Oldham. They showed they fear nobody and the results on Saturday, such as Arsenal getting beat, have given everyone a gentle reminder there are no easy games.

"In the cup anything can happen and if you are not on it, if your attitude is not right and you don't put your chances away and you don't defenced right then you can be involved in an upset.

"People who are dreaming of Wembley and beating Wigan should cast their mind back to 2008 when Oldham came to Goodison and we put out a really strong team that day and they beat us."

Related Tags


Login or register to post your comment.


View More
  • Martinez Previews Stoke Clash
  • Barkley On Stoke Clash
  • Arsenal 2 - 0 Everton - 20 Minute Highlights
  • Arsenal 2 - 0 Everton - 5 Minute Highlights
  • Arsenal 2 - 0 Everton - 3 Minute Highlights
  • Howard: Can't Fault Performance


View More