Apr 012014

James McCarthy believes Everton can come out on top

James McCarthy thinks nicking the fourth Champions League place from Arsenal would be the perfect revenge for Everton FC’s FA Cup quarter-final exit.

Only four points separate Everton from fourth-placed Arsenal going into Sunday’s highly-anticipated clash at Goodison Park.

Should Roberto Martinez’s side win, the Blues would turn to their game in hand at home to Crystal Palace to go two points clear with only five fixtures to play.

Arsenal beat Everton 4-1  at the Emirates in March to advance to the semi-final – Romelu Lukaku’s equaliser wiped out by Mikel Arteta and an Olivier Giroud double in a crumbling second half.

But McCarthy believes Everton, off  the back of a  five-game Premier  League winning  streak,  can make amends  for that loss with three invaluable points.

“It was a big three  points (at Fulham) and  now we have Arsenal at home which is going to be  a  big one,” said the midfielder.

“I’m sure the fans will  come out in their numbers  and hopefully we can put  things right, and obviously  try and push for that  Champions League spot  now.

“They put us out of the  cup and it’s never nice to get beaten. It’s going to be a  big ask but we’ll  give it our  best shot.

“It’s in the balance. If we want it, it’s there in front  of us and we can go and give it our best shot.  As a  squad, we believe we can  do it. There’s still a long  way to go and we’ll give it  our best shot.”

With so much pressure  heaped on the Everton  team with the season coming to a tense close,  it can  become difficult for the  players to “enjoy” their  football.

Martinez admitted the  importance of allowing his  squad to do so last week,  and stressed it can  find its  way on to the pitch.

And Republic of Ireland international McCarthy reiterated his manager’s mentality.

“I think you enjoy it,”  the 23-year-old added.

“You need to enjoy the  occasion and you need to  enjoy the challenge. If not,  then I think you’re  in the  wrong game to be fair.

“I think the second half  (at Fulham) we definitely  enjoyed it a bit more than  what we did the first  half.  We got the ball down and  we passed the ball.

“Steven Naismith came  on and thankfully we got  the winner. He changed the  game to be fair.”

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 Posted by at 10:01 pm

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