The prospect of European qualification is motivating Everton to finish the season strongly, midfielder James McCarthy says.
Everton sit a point adrift of Arsenal in the final UEFA Champions League spot and six ahead of sixth-placed Tottenham with three Premier League games remaining.
A run of eight wins from their last nine top-flight outings has put Roberto Martinez’s team in a strong position to play in continental competition for the first time since being beaten by Sporting Lisbon in the last 32 of the 2009-10 UEFA Europa League.
The Merseyside club’s 2-0 victory over Manchester United on Sunday kept them on course for Champions League or Europa League qualification, and McCarthy is determined to ensure they end the campaign well.
“It (reaching Europe) is a big incentive and we’ll give it our best shot,” he told Everton’s official website.
“We want to get three points on the board and keep up the pressure on Arsenal. We want to try to get European football back at Goodison.
“I think there’s still plenty of twists and turns to come and you never know. We’ll look after ourselves and see what it brings at the end of the season.”
McCarthy has made 31 Premier League appearances for Everton in his debut season with the club after following manager Martinez from Wigan Athletic last year.
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