Godfrey On What Everton Must Show To Secure European Place

Ben Godfrey insists Everton consistently displaying the “togetherness, character and desire” shown in Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester City for the remainder of the season can see the Blues secure European qualification.

With 10 Premier League games remaining of the campaign, Everton are just five points behind the division’s top four and with a game in hand on all the teams above them in the table.

Defender Godfrey personified a collective Everton performance laced with resilience and courage against a City side that has won 25 of their past 26 matches.

As well as delivering two typically crunching tackles, Godfrey made six clearances – a total surpassed by only centre-back partner Yerry Mina (7) – and blocked two shots.

Asked about the qualities which Everton must transfer from the City game for their remaining top-flight matches, Godfrey told evertontv: “Sticking together, character and desire. You could see how much it meant to us. 

“We put our bodies on the line and we were fighting for the full 90 minutes. 

“We’re going to need that for the rest of the season if we’re going to finish where we hope to. 

“City have got unbelievable quality and depth in their squad. That’s why they are such a good team and it takes some doing to beat them. 

“I think we can be proud of our performance. We gave it everything we’ve got.

“We’re in a good position in the league.

"If we pick up some good results and carry on the form we’ve been on throughout the season, then we’ll give ourselves a good chance of getting European football.

"That would mean an awful lot to us as players and to the fans and the Club. That’s what we’re aiming for.”

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Defender calls Evertonian whose determination saw him win Best Grassroots Football Story of the Year Award.

Defender Godfrey is now on international duty with England Under-21s, with Aidy Boothroyd’s side set to compete in the group stage of the European Championships in Slovenia.

Everton will return to action on Monday 5 April when Crystal Palace visit Goodison Park (6pm GMT).

Godfrey insists the squad are determined to turn around their fortunes in L4 after some mixed home results as the Blues aim to summon a strong finish to the season.

“We have some big games coming up after the international break,” he added.

“We can’t hide from the fact we’ve suffered some disappointing results at Goodison over the course of this season.

“Sometimes, it’s quite hard to put your finger on what’s going wrong.

“We can take confidence from the performance against City and if we can fight like we did there and give it our all, then we’ll give ourselves the best chance be more consistent and start picking up more points.”

Godfrey also paid tribute to goalkeeper Joao Virginia's impressive display against City.

The 21-year-old – who was making only his second senior start for Everton – was confident and assured throughout and made some superb saves to keep the away side at bay.

"I was massively impressed by his performance," he said.

"He works hard every day in training.

"Some of the saves he made to keep us in the game were outstanding.

"I’m over the moon for him and, as long as he keeps working hard and trying to improve, then there will be plenty more appearances to come."