Boss Targets Tottenham
Finishing above Spurs would probably mean Europe, admits Moyes.
David Moyes believes Sunday's meeting with Tottenham could be a true test of Everton's European credentials.
The Blues boss has repeatedly voiced his ambition to return the Club to Europe this season while warning it remains one of the toughest challenges in football.
Two seasons ago, Tottenham qualified for the Champions League for the first time in the Premier League era, repeating the achievements of Moyes' side in 2005.
Successive appearances in the Europa League have followed for the Londoners and Thursday's 3–1 win over Panathinaikos successfully booked their place in the competition's last 32.
Having looked on throughout that time with no continental competition to savour, Moyes expects Tottenham to again be a major threat to Everton's chances this term.
As such, he feels finishing above Sunday's opponents might prove key to ending his side's European exile.
"I think Tottenham have always been there or thereabouts," said Moyes on Friday. "They've set their club up and their team up to try to be in Europe.
"They were great in the Champions League with Harry [Redknapp] a year or so ago and this year they've done well to qualify for the next stages of the Europa League.
"Tottenham you would always see as one of the clubs who will be competing at the top end of the league. To finish above Tottenham would give you a great chance to be in Europe, that's for sure.
"But I think Tottenham are a good side with some really good players, so it will be a big challenge for us."
While Everton have lost just twice in 24 league outings dating back to March, seven draws in nine games have seen them drop out of the top four and down to sixth in the Premier League table.
Victory on Sunday would move the Blues level on 26 points with their opponents, while defeat for West Brom at Arsenal could see Moyes' men jump back into the Champions League spots.
The manager, however, understands the next few months, and not the next few days, will ultimately shape his side’s destiny.
"We're still quite early, we're not into Christmas time and a lot will change over the next month or two," he said. "You don't need to be right up there right away, though I'd like to be.
"I knew this was going to be a difficult period but I'm pleased with the way we've played, especially against Arsenal and Manchester City.
"I think in both games there were periods where we could have won the game and also periods where I was happy with how we defended, so I'll go into this game with a lot of confidence and faith that the team will go and produce another good performance."
Tickets for Sunday's visit of Tottenham are still available. To buy, call 0871 663 1878 or click here.
Alternatively, visit the Park End Box Office, Everton Two in Liverpool One or Ticket Quarter in Queen Square.