Apr 022014
 

Midfielder believes team-mates want it more

Everton FC’s extra hunger can overcome Arsenal’s experience in the battle for Champions League qualification, believes James McCarthy.

The midfielder knows that Arsene Wenger’s men will be fuelled by the insight gained from making it into Europe’s top club competition for 16 consecutive seasons, but insists the Blues desire to break new ground will win out.

He said: “They’ve got the experience so it will be difficult. But we’ve got the hunger and the desire. We’ve got the gaffer and a lot of people backing us to go that extra mile so hopefully we can kick on.

“It’s still a long way to go with seven games which are seven cup finals. We won’t get carried away.

“It was tough at Fulham and we’re looking forward to Sunday now. At home to Arsenal in front of those Goodison fans, it doesn’t get much better than that for atmosphere.”

McCarthy believes the recent defeat to the Gunners in the FA Cup quarter final at the Emirates will give the Toffees even further motivation.

“It hurt us that quarter final,” he said. “We were gutted in the dressing room afterwards because we knew we weren’t good enough. Especially with all the fans who went down to cheer us on and we let them down.

“Thankfully we can put that right now. We know what Arsenal bring to the table and we’ll be bang up for it on the day.”

Martinez is waiting to check on the fitness of Ross Barkley for Sunday’s pivotal clash with Arsenal, with the 20-year-old nursing a calf strain picked up in last weekend’s victory over Fulham.

If he fails to recover it could pave the way for Craven Cottage match-winner Steven Naismith to start, and McCarthy insisted he has every belief in the Scot – and the man who utilised him so smartly from the bench.

“I’m delighted for Naisy because at times he hasn’t had his chance and he’s shown when he does get it, he can pop up and score the winner,” he said.

“The gaffer works very hard on a day to day basis in his office. You can see he puts the hours in. He’s brought on Naisy against Fulham and he won us the game with his goal-scoring instinct.

“The gaffer has a winning touch.”

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