Heitinga Expects Battle
Blues just as desperate for points as QPR, says Dutchman.
John Heitinga has warned relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers that Everton will be just as desperate for victory when the sides meet at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Last weekend's 2-2 draw at Spurs means the Blues are four points below the Premier League's fifth and final European qualification spot with seven games remaining.
QPR, meanwhile, conceded a devastating 94th-minute equaliser at home to Wigan last time out to leave themselves 19th in the table and seven points from safety.
And while Heitinga expects QPR to scrap for their top-flight lives on Merseyside, he says Everton's desire to keep their European ambitions alive will be just as strong.
“I think we’ve got the same desperation as QPR," said the Dutchman. "It won’t be an easy match. I remember the game at their place was tough as well.
“Everyone thinks it’s easy and you’ll win 4-0 but that’s not the way football is at the moment. They will come to defend.
“At White Hart Lane it was Tottenham who made most of the game and on Saturday it’s up to us to make the game.
“We don’t have the biggest squad but if you see our performances over the whole season, they’ve been really good. And with seven games to play we’re still in the hunt. We know we must beat QPR to fight for a European place though.”
Heitinga's performance at White Hart Lane was the latest in a string of impressive outings from the Dutchman, who himself admits to enduring a dip in form early on in 2013.
The former Ajax and Atletico Madrid man was voted Everton's player of the season last term and knows such dramatic contrasts are part and parcel of life as a Premier League footballer.
“I’ve been playing for a long time now and in football you can go from hero to zero and back again,” he said. “At the beginning of the season I was thinking I should start but the manager decided something else and so I was a little bit disappointed.
“Then after that I wasn’t playing my best football so it was easy for the manager to put me on the bench.
“The only thing I could do was work hard. In the end the quality is always there but when you work hard it comes out.”
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