What The Papers Say - 21 January
Baines and Neville in today's paper round-up.
The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.
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.
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."