Jordan Pickford says Everton are primed for “seven finals” between now and the end of the Premier League campaign – and believes consistently replicating the intensity and quality shown against Tottenham Hotspur on Friday can see the Blues achieve European qualification.
Everton were the more progressive team for extended periods of the 2-2 draw with Spurs at Goodison Park and carved out numerous opportunities to add to Gylfi Sigurdsson’s brace.
The Blues’ superiority was underlined by the fact they a had greater share of possession and more than double the away team’s shots on target (7-3).
Pickford admits Everton were “frustrated” they could not secure the victory their performance merited – but says the team’s collective display only strengthens belief they can summon a strong finish to the season.
Eighth-placed Everton – who are just six points behind West Ham United in fourth position and have a game in hand on the Hammers – return to action on Friday at Arsenal.
“You could see all the graft from the lads on the pitch [against Spurs],” he told evertontv.
“The work we put in off the ball was massive. We pressed really well in areas and that’s when we regained the ball.
“Spurs are a good side but, if we put that effort into the rest of our games, we’ll have a right chance [of qualifying for Europe].
“That’s the type of performance we need to keep putting in. It’s seven games and they are like seven finals.
“It’s just about us performing, training hard every day and going into the games and being prepared. We’ve got to give it our all until the end of the season.”
Everton largely blunted Spurs’ attacking threat at Goodison but the away side were able to rescue a point thanks to talismanic striker Harry Kane.
The England captain clinically dispatched the only two genuine chances he had during the match.
Pickford was eager to highlight the strong defensive work the team produced to keep Tottenham’s forward talents at bay for the vast majority of the game.
“I know we conceded twice but I only had one save to make in the second half,” he explained. “That just shows the performance we put in as a group.
“We pressed well and, when they did go long, Mason [Holgate], Michael [Keane], Lucas [Digne] and Godders [Ben Godfrey] were picking up good areas to defend.
“Both the goals we conceded were unlucky, I wouldn’t say they were big mistakes.
“They were two very unfortunate events. Mason’s slipped [for the first goal] and for the second Keano heads it and the ball goes off the back of Mason’s calf.
“They were unlucky and Harry Kane was there for both of them. Sometimes you get a bit of luck but sometimes you don’t.”
England goalkeeper Pickford had missed Everton’s previous three matches with an abdominal injury. The issue was a recurrence of a problem which sidelined him for four games in February.
The 27-year-old – who played 122 consecutive Premier League matches for Everton after joining the Club from boyhood side Sunderland in 2017 – says he is now back in peak condition.
“I’ve been doing a lot of work in the gym, with the physios, Adam [Newall} and Craig [Yuill], and the medical staff,” he explained.
“It’s been frustrating it was the same injury, so I had to take a little bit more precaution this time and get myself back to full fitness.
“Now I’m feeling sharp and feeling good.”
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