Jordan Pickford says the Everton players are determined to “bring their A-game” to Crystal Palace on Saturday as the Blues aim to sustain momentum following their stirring 4-0 success against Manchester United last weekend.
Marco Silva’s team overwhelmed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United with a devastating display of attacking football at Goodison Park, and the England No. 1 labelled the comprehensive win as “our best performance of the season”.
The result represented Everton’s third straight home victory over top-six opposition without conceding a goal.
The Blues have taken 16 points from a possible 24 in the Premier League, a run of form which means they are within striking distance of seventh place in the table. Everton are just two points behind Wolverhampton Wanderers, who currently occupy that position.
Pickford says he expects Roy Hodgson’s Palace to provide a difficult obstacle on Saturday, with the Eagles approaching the game on the back of an impressive 3-2 win at Arsenal.
The goalkeeper says belief is strong within the Everton camp, though, and underlined the team’s resolve to maintain the performance levels obtained against United in each of their final games of the season.
Following the trip to Selhurst Park, the Blues host Burnley next Friday under the lights at Goodison, before rounding off the campaign at Tottenham Hotspur on 12 May.
“We’ve gone on a run of games now, the Fulham match aside, where we have shown we are a very good side,” said Pickford.
“We have three games left to make it a strong finish to the season. As a group, we want to finish as high as we can.
“Last weekend was a great result, to get a 4-0 win and a clean sheet against one of the top sides in the league. The way we played made it a better feeling and I would say it is the best performance so far this season.
“We know how tough Palace are and the ability they’ve got in the squad. They’ve got good players and they’re a team we have got to be wary of. We need to be on our A-game to go there and try to get a result."
Since signing from Sunderland in the summer of 2017, Pickford has played every minute of every Everton Premier League match, a run of consecutive appearances that stands at 73 and counting.
He has been an important part of a Toffees side which has kept six clean sheets in their past eight top-flight contests. The Blues have also scored 14 goals in this period, which Pickford believes reflects the team’s all-round quality.
“I’ve got 12 clean sheets in the league this season – I’m going to try to get another three before the end,” he said.
“I think I’m learning every day, learning every match and maturing as a goalkeeper.
“We have got very good defenders, too, which helps a lot. We’ve got a lot of depth in the squad. The signings we brought in the summer – they’re now in form and they’re used to the surroundings at Everton, at Goodison.
“We’ve got some great talent up top. Not just the ones who have been starting recently, you look at the bench and think any of them could come into the team and perform.
“It’s very positive.”