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Southampton (A) Sat 20 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Nev: Time To Kick On

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Phil Neville has declared that now is the time for Everton to launch their final assault on Europe.
 
The Blues head to Norwich City on Saturday with a positive result required to keep pace with those sides at the top end of the Premier League table.
 
Neville believes that now the traditionally hectic Christmas and January periods are out of the way, the Blues will begin to hit top form once again.
 
"It's good to get back to the Premier League," the captain told evertontv."We need to start winning games. Now is the time I think we will start hitting form; if you look at all the teams in the league, no-one is flowing and playing the sort of stylish football they were playing earlier in the season.
 
"It happens every year. January and February are the months you just have to slug it out. You have played so many games in a short space of time that there is a lull after Christmas. Pitches are bad, the weather is freezing cold and players can be fatigued.
 
"Now when the weather gets better, you get a bit of blue sky and  teams start hitting form again."
 
Currently occupying sixth place in the standings, Everton have serious designs on bringing European football back to Goodison Park next term.
 
"You have two types of team," said Neville, assessing the current state of the Premier League. "Teams chasing at the top and teams fighting for survival. We are chasing a European place and we have a massive carrot in front of us. We have 12 games left and we want to finish in Europe.
 
"I would say Norwich is one of the toughest away games. We went there last year and it was a tough game. In the game at Goodison before Christmas they got a deserved point.
 
"Chris Hughton has done a fabulous job. He goes about his business quietly but he has built a young, solid team. They have stabilised themselves in the league."
 

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