DEFEAT FUELS 4TH PLACE DESIRE
Phil Neville wants the pain of the Fiorentina defeat to fuel Everton's fourth place push.
Despite the penalty shootout despair, Neville was immensely proud of his troops for their efforts in Wednesday night's 2-0 win over the Italians.
The skipper is now demanding his side put all their efforts into securing a fourth place finish in the Premier League.
He said: “We’ve learned a lot of lessons this season – and the biggest is that we want to play in European football next season.
“I think the whole club has warmed to it. Let’s bring more of these nights.
I think the whole club has warmed to it. Let’s bring more of these nights.
“Finishing fourth this season would be an absolutely astronomical achievement considering the quality of the side who want to finish in fourth place. We’re under no illusions about the size of the task, but with the spirit and the togetherness of the squad, we’re going to give it our best shot.”
Reflecting on the drama at Goodison, Neville said he believed the tie could have been over before extra time was required.
“I thought we were fantastic," he declared. "We should have won the game by four or five goals.
“There’s a lot of fighting qualities in our dressing room, but more importantly there’s a lot of quality.
“We took on the fourth best team in Italy; I’ve watched videos of them and I’ve never seen them have that many chances created against them in four videos, never mind one.
“We can be proud of the way we’ve played. I think we’ve shown we’re not too far away from bringing these type of nights here regularly.
“We’ve got quality in this squad and we need to make sure that over the next nine games we show that quality and get our just rewards at the end of the season.”