Morgan Schneiderlin hasn't ruled out Everton finishing in the automatic European qualification places this season as the Blues' recent run has closed what was a yawning gap between themselves and the top six.
Ronald Koeman's side are unbeaten in seven Premier League games since their agonising defeat to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby and currently lie five points behind Manchester United in sixth place.
Victory for the Red Devils over Southampton in the EFL Cup final on the 26th of this month and another top-six side lifting the FA Cup would ensure that the seventh placed club would qualify for the Europa League but Schneiderlin says that Everton could get into Europe off their own backs by continuing their recent run of form.
“We want to finish high,” the 27-year-old said. “We want to catch the teams above us. I think Liverpool are six points [away], Man United are five points.
“So why not? We can catch them if we have a good run of games but we need to make sure we finish strong to make a platform for the next season and to give our fans the Europa League.”
Schneiderlin was speaking at a special club event for supporters at Bierkeller in Liverpool One and he was asked about Koeman's no-nonsense approach to management, something that Schneiderlin got to know and appreciate during their season together at Southampton in 2014-15.
“He says what he thinks and that's important for the players to improve. But he's very calm and he will keep head on his shoulders when things are going well. And when things are going bad he will try to say the [right] things and keep it straight.
“He understands players, he understands their feelings before and after games, he understands what you need from a manager and that is very important."
“He's a winner. As a manager and a football player, he's used to winning.”
Reader Comments (95)
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1 Posted 08/02/2017 at 18:05:29
If that game would have been won by Everton, we would be level on points, with the neighbours now, which is incredible really considering we have only just began to get going.
Good to hear new players come in and talk about raising the bar right away. Let's hope we can keep the season alive, and keep catching up with the teams in-front of us, and maybe go to The Emiraites on the last day of the season with everything left to play for?
2 Posted 08/02/2017 at 18:22:16
I think we can definitely catch Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool (the other three will pull away)... but this is Everton. Every time we think we've turned a corner, we trip ourselves up. Still, great talk from Morgan.
3 Posted 08/02/2017 at 18:24:53
4 Posted 08/02/2017 at 18:31:06
5 Posted 08/02/2017 at 19:08:47
6 Posted 08/02/2017 at 19:22:07
7 Posted 08/02/2017 at 19:26:04
9 Posted 08/02/2017 at 19:43:52
10 Posted 08/02/2017 at 19:44:08
I cannot see the point in simply hoping for 7th or 8th. If the manager and the players look to settle for 7th or 8th then they will come up short of that. They need to simply keep on trying to improve, striving to win every game and then wait and see where WE finish.
Forget the others. Do a Leicester from last season. Treat each game as it comes around as if it's a cup final. See what happens... Nil Satis
11 Posted 08/02/2017 at 19:46:28
Ahhh there's nothing like trying to be positive, is there?
12 Posted 08/02/2017 at 19:52:23
13 Posted 08/02/2017 at 19:52:49
Add Man Utd's jam-packed schedule to the mix: Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup Final. I think both teams are well catchable. Why bloody not, I say.
14 Posted 08/02/2017 at 19:55:32
15 Posted 08/02/2017 at 20:10:12
If they hadn't such a busy schedule I would say no chance but we've got a chance with them travelling all over Europe... it might catch up with them, injuries and fatigue to their team gives us a chance, a slim chance but nonetheless a chance.
16 Posted 08/02/2017 at 20:12:55
17 Posted 08/02/2017 at 20:13:22
If we can catch them then why not Arsenal and get 4th or Man City. That is another 2 points granted but see them slipping up just a shame they scored the last minute goal against Swansea or only be 7 points.
18 Posted 08/02/2017 at 20:26:01
Ffs... I need a lie down now, me heads hurting!
19 Posted 08/02/2017 at 20:30:44
Not sure Brian, it's all a bit confusing.
20 Posted 08/02/2017 at 20:51:06
21 Posted 08/02/2017 at 20:54:29
23 Posted 08/02/2017 at 21:14:46
I was starting to have my doubts about Koeman when we were on that terrible run pre-xmas as he looked a bit clueless and not very interested.
I'm chuffed to bits he's weeded out the deadwood, stamped down on the prima donnas and got the fitness levels up. I'm looking forward to a strong finish this season.
24 Posted 08/02/2017 at 21:22:14
The press don't seem to want anybody spoiling their top six favourites and have started spinning stories about our striker and manager, who they claim are destined to leave for bigger and better things. Of course they may be proved correct in the summer but until then, Everton have a job to do, let's hope they gain as many points as possible between now and the last game of the season and those points are enough to gain European football at the Old Lady next season.
25 Posted 08/02/2017 at 21:27:07
26 Posted 08/02/2017 at 21:27:23
It amazes me that they don't say the same things about Kane and Potch, after all, Spurs are not winners, nor have they been for quiet a long while. Seems the press has far too many redshite fans in it to produce any form of balance.
27 Posted 08/02/2017 at 21:30:25
28 Posted 08/02/2017 at 21:49:21
Theres more chance of us catching the RS and United than there is of them catching Chelsea. Yet certain people in the media still think theyve got a chance of winning the title.
As our friends from across the pond would say... You do the math!
29 Posted 08/02/2017 at 21:56:55
30 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:00:50
It's becoming evident on the pitch and, going by most of the posts above, even we are starting to get it. LMIC.
31 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:07:30
Unlikely as it seems at the moment, we have six-pointers with the Liverpool and Man Utd as well as a finale against Arsenal. The teams above us also have some six-pointers between themselves, each one providing us with an opportunity to gain ground.
32 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:08:38
We only have so creep into the top 4, stealthily. And right now, I really think we have the players and mentality to do it. Don't forget, as Colin referred to, the deadwood has been rooted out. That includes the aura of ineptness and losing mentality that stunk out our club.
Ffs, we had Gana on the bench the last time... a player most of us thought we would flounder without, due to his international commitments.
The whole landscape has changed since the turn of the year... It's called a revolution! Things are changing while we sleep.
33 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:20:27
Usually top 4 go to the Champions League.
Usually 5th place is Europa League.
Usually 2 cup winners go to the Europa League.
If either cup winner is already in the top 5, then the 6th team get their place.
If BOTH cup winners are in top 6, then 7th place gets in, like last season with West Ham.
It doesn't matter if an English team wins the Champions League or Europa League, they still only get 7 teams into Europe next season.
34 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:22:09
I've now got a headache and I haven't even studied what happens should English clubs win both European trophies.
35 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:24:41
Would you have made that bet after the game against Stoke away?
I'll start getting excited if we beat the redshite at Anfield now that would be a statement!!
Goodluck with your bet though mate stranger things have happened be a nice touch at 50/1!
36 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:26:18
37 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:36:50
3 English Clubs qualify for the Europa League, the FA Cup Winner, 5th in the League and the winner of the League Cup.
If Man Utd win the League Cup then 6th in the League then would also qualify. Providing that Man Utd also finish in the Top 5.
If a team in that Top 6 also wins the FA Cup then 7th in the League also qualifies for the Europa League, but would start in the 3rd Qualifying Round which starts at the end of July.
38 Posted 08/02/2017 at 22:43:48
Don't bother trying to work that out. We will discuss it at the Sunderland game.
39 Posted 08/02/2017 at 23:01:54
If we won 36 out of the 38 games, and the only two losses were to the redshite, that would be fine, They are just another team, in my opinion a fairly middling one. Derby games don't have the significance they had in the distant past.
40 Posted 08/02/2017 at 23:18:13
The RS, Spurs, Man Utd and Arsenal away, as well as Chelsea at home, being five of our remaining 14 games.
We are capable of winning all of them, no doubt, but we'd need to get close to that to gain the points we need on those teams. We already need to make 9 points up to catch City, in 3rd - and we have played them twice.
When you think that; Man City have lost 5 games all season, Man Utd 3, Spurs 2, RS 4. Id' say it's unlikely we'll see more than one of them "collapsing". In which case it's likely a Europa league spot. Which we'd probably get finishing 7th anyway.
I'm not suggesting we should not try and win every game that remains but just trying to be realistic about our chances.
41 Posted 08/02/2017 at 23:26:19
The next game will be just as tough at the Riverside. Boro are desperate for points and they have a stingy defence but being at home they will be expected to attack more than they did at Spurs and, with Everton's offence looking good, this is an opportunity.
42 Posted 08/02/2017 at 00:19:10
West Brom are consistently plugging away but beat them at home on March 11th and we should, all things being equal, have a gap to keep them at bay. So, a betting man would probably be quite happy having us in 7th place or above.
We have some easy home games on paper but as the season progresses some of those teams will be fighting for their lives and the teams above us will be too to stay in the hunt for the title and the top four.
It's stating the obvious but we've just got to keep putting teams away by winning our home games and doing what we haven't done for decades which is beat the best teams in their own back yards. If we want to be in the Top 4, and deserve to be in the Top 4, we've got to prove it against Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd, Spurs and Arsenal, not because it will prove a point or make a statement but simply because we cant afford to drop those points if we are going to get into those spots. Arsenal, Man City and Liverpool especially are all capable of and will drop points. I think Spurs, Chelsea and Man Utd less so now.
Win 3 out of 5 of those matches and we are right in it (especially if we can draw the other two...) Remember most of them will still have to play each other too...so if we continue to get "at it" I personally think it's still all to play for.
43 Posted 09/02/2017 at 00:58:50
If the FA Cup is won by any top 5 team, the runners up will go into the Europa League. Unless they have changed the rule in the past few years.
44 Posted 09/02/2017 at 02:48:05
45 Posted 09/02/2017 at 03:05:42
Do the players have the desire to win every game. Koeman will be keeping a eye on them. Schneiderlin is right to say we must build on this season for next. Some of the players might go into holiday mode if they have a few bad results. It's Koemans job to keep them focused.
46 Posted 09/02/2017 at 03:33:12
I believe both cups will go to a current non European ranked side, just a touch of Evertonism there for you.
The fixture list has be benign to us allowing the potential get some momentum of winnable games before being tested; Spurs then the RS/Utd double.
I think whichever way you cut it games v Chelsea & Arsenal will be moot, I think our fate will have already been decided coming so late on the fixture list.
I think Koeman will experiment too much with the system and that will be our undoing. But we have nothing to lose. So im hoping to see us play with the hand brake off.
47 Posted 09/02/2017 at 08:37:18
48 Posted 09/02/2017 at 08:47:52
I disagree! Winning at Anfield would be a huge result for our club, it's something we haven't done for 18 years this year!
Not only would it be a huge 3 points against a European spot rival who were in the title race it would be a massive monkey off our back and statement that we are top team who can take points off a top 6 team away from home!
Also, it would be a stake in their hearts if we could take points off them at their place and in turn add to us nicking a possible top four place ahead of them!
I agree winning consistently is obviously the key to finishing high up the table but that means beating teams above us and I think if you ask any Evertonian there would be no better 3 points to pick up than away at Anfield!
If we can keep winning and get into Europe, get Lukaku to sign a new deal and get an announcement over a new stadium being built, it will end up being a good season!
49 Posted 09/02/2017 at 09:08:10
Keeping Lukaku will be seriously difficult though. That crap paper The Express has made it their mission to unsettle Rom by constantly linking him with Chelsea.
50 Posted 09/02/2017 at 09:16:40
The pundits on this occasion were asking why either would stay there if a BIG job came up! The obsession with Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City and the Reds continues, and if that isn't enough, then throw in Barca, Real or Bayern.
The media is full of dullards telling the masses the same thing all of the time...now they like to talk of Leicester getting possibly relegated. Another lovely story they would love it.
51 Posted 09/02/2017 at 09:18:04
52 Posted 09/02/2017 at 09:59:11
Change of Manager, a team that he took over looked like relegation fodder. Poor early season form. Lots of Doom.
Now the Manager looks like hes imposing his style onto the team (still in his first season), We are on a good run, even the possibility of getting into Europe is a miracle. Potential new stadium to get excited about.
It's great. Lots of hurdles still to jump, but for the first time in far too long a time I'm excited to be a Toffee. And I'm damn well gonna enjoy that while I can.
53 Posted 09/02/2017 at 10:00:03
54 Posted 09/02/2017 at 10:02:04
55 Posted 09/02/2017 at 10:07:28
Okay, I do agree in a way. I like seeing them lose almost as much as I like us winning, so beating them is obviously a double pleasure. But I was just trying to say, that if we keep winning games, and finish consistently higher than the likes of them, then we will no longer be that bothered about them.
Anyway, here's a thought. Every team has had a bad spell. Chelsea started with one, Man City have had one, the RS are currently having one, etc. We had one during that 1 win in 10 games spell. Working on the basis that we're past our bad spell, and we do seem to have momentum now, and assuming our performances from now on mirror the past ones minus the bad spell, then we've got 33 points from those 14 'non bad spell' games. We've got 14 games left, so we could 'reasonably expect' circa 33 points from those, which would leave us on 73 points, probably in top-4.
That's neither positive nor negative, just working on the basis that we've had our bad spell.
56 Posted 09/02/2017 at 10:10:52
Today Lovren is talking about his childhood in war torn Croatia. I've never seen a Begovic, Dzeko or Besic interview about the real victims of the Balkan wars - Bosnia.
Now former chief rs gobshite, Ian Ayres, is travelling around Europe trying to promote the idea of the "elite" European teams (of which he obviously includes them) having their own tv deals to help preserve their status. They are complete gobshites of the highest order.
57 Posted 09/02/2017 at 10:33:49
58 Posted 09/02/2017 at 10:42:27
I have no doubt if he does sign a deal, there will be a buyout clause for a Champions League team but, if he does sign, it's a good message to other potential signings!!
59 Posted 09/02/2017 at 10:53:54
I have just stuck £20 @ 50/1 on top 4 this season. 'If' is obviously a massive word, but it is definitely possible, if we retain form and fitness. Likely? No. 50/1 unlikely? No. COME ON YOU BLUE BOYS...
60 Posted 09/02/2017 at 11:08:48
Long shot perhaps... but 50/1 is a great price. I hope you win, for all our sakes.
61 Posted 09/02/2017 at 11:12:55
62 Posted 09/02/2017 at 11:14:56
Write us a nice little story about the day you collect your winnings. I'm looking forward to that.
63 Posted 09/02/2017 at 11:18:27
With our luck we'd get Barca or the like.
64 Posted 09/02/2017 at 11:21:02
Looks like I am really outdated.
65 Posted 09/02/2017 at 11:21:38
66 Posted 09/02/2017 at 11:27:09
The government here ban all these sites. I got to check the local monopoly if they have such line. But they probably don't. Everyone in this country is the dark side's supporter.
Looking forward to your story too.
67 Posted 09/02/2017 at 13:02:46
68 Posted 09/02/2017 at 13:07:03
Surely you know it's madness to predict how difficult games will or won't be. Banana Skin Central, as the Premier League is, makes it pure folly to cast ludicrous predictions, BECAUSE that's what they are.
I'll echo a common sentiment on here:. GET A GRIP, LADS!!!
69 Posted 09/02/2017 at 13:24:07
You can look here for some ideas:
70 Posted 09/02/2017 at 13:25:29
If I was Koeman I'd be shouting at the players to prove how good you are and shove their biased opinions down their throats... and if I was a player I'd be thinking the same: "Fuck them, we'll prove how fucking good we are."
71 Posted 09/02/2017 at 13:31:03
Terry, (spoken in a nerds voice). Your theory must come into question as you didn't specify from which constellation the stars would be reached for.
You obviously have to allow for discrepancies in journey planning and whilst on the subject of planning a Plan B must be in place to cover the possibility of not correctly orbiting the moon before it is indeed reached for coat got, off!
72 Posted 09/02/2017 at 13:32:30
We're playing well and there is a new sense of optimism so let's just enjoy the rest of the season and see where we get to because you know there's going to be some disappointments along the way.
73 Posted 09/02/2017 at 13:48:01
Man, you're right, predictions are a complete waste of time, a bag of shite (apart from the obvious 'we won't win the league' and 'we won't get relegated'). That's why I never bother with them.
What I said isn't a prediction, just some possible 'what if' scenarios based on possible levels of form. The alternative to considering logical possibilities is to just not bother, but then there wouldn't be any point in commenting on TW.
74 Posted 09/02/2017 at 14:14:36
Now I understand we are perennial "bottlers" but there seems to be a change in mind set lately.
If you can't dream big and be optimistic about your team, what's the point in watching the football at all!
(As an aside, as someone alluded to earlier, I nearly won £350 on the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, until the most unlikely comeback of all time happened. Sad as I was to lose out on the wonga, the manner of the victory was truly inspirational).
75 Posted 09/02/2017 at 14:55:30
I wouldn't disagree with you mate. All I'm doing is saying that IF our form follows that of the 'non bad spell' results, then we could readily finish top-6 or even top-4. It's just a way of laying out possibilities explicitly, using relevant numbers.
I wouldn't actually call it crazy doing this though, certainly not as crazy as predicting what will happen, which is just guesswork. I've been an Evertonian too long to get too excited, so I'm just playing with possibilities.
76 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:03:20
77 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:04:13
78 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:08:40
Despite having a poor defence with the exception of Robles, who is doing great, the rest of the team is quite capable of achieving a high finish in the table.
A commanding football playing central defender is the number one priority in the summer.
79 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:14:05
80 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:14:56
That poor defence is the fourth best in the Premier League!
81 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:20:47
82 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:24:00
Gary,. Liverpool are only 6 points above us. When both our teams had played 20 games, they were 14 points above us. 14 points. Only four games later, we now only trail them by 6 points.
We are, right now, the form team in the Premier League. We've gained 8 points on them in only 4 games. 4 games. And you think we can't make up another lousy 6 plus points in a whopping 14 games? Really?
83 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:27:15
A less congested calendar and against lesser teams. This isn't blind optimism. This is being an Evertonian.
84 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:35:49
I was one of those people saying that the season was over because being out of both cups in January it certainly felt like it.
Since the Leicester game, we've gone on a great run but we still have to go to Liverpool, Man Utd, Spurs and Arsenal.
85 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:46:11
With the teams around us distracted by Europe or the cups I am feeling fairly optimistic about top 5 or 6. It may be too late for top 4 but we can dream.
With Lukaku about to sign a new contract, Lookman and Schneiderlin settling in, Tom Davies's rise to prominence, McCarthy's return to fitness and Gueye's return, we have good reason to be optimistic about the future.
86 Posted 09/02/2017 at 15:51:36
We have played a combined 61 times at Spurs, Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal (the tough away games still to play this season) in the league since the turn of the century and we have recorded just the 4 wins... 3 at Spurs and 1 at Man Utd, none at Arsenal or Liverpool. That's 4 wins in 61 matches against those teams.
It's always been games at those places that has held us back from really finishing in a higher position, our lack of wins at those particular venues is at best frustrating and at worst downright annoying.
87 Posted 09/02/2017 at 16:23:33
You might expect improvement on that given our current better form, even though 4 of the 5 remaining games against the top-6 are away. As Dan pointed out, we are the in-form side at the moment.
88 Posted 09/02/2017 at 19:21:57
My point is, even if we only take 4 points against Spurs, Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool, we could still catch them if we keep on beating everyone else lower than us (or at the very least, getting a draw).
Probable? Not sure. Possible? Of course!
89 Posted 09/02/2017 at 21:45:01
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
In my view, a win at Anfield would be the catalyst for ongoing success.
90 Posted 09/02/2017 at 23:15:36
I think if we can carry on the way we are at the moment, then the two games in 4 days at the beginning of April away at the Pit and Old Trafford will ultimately define our season.
91 Posted 09/02/2017 at 23:23:00
Obviously beating the RS along with Man Utd and Chelsea would certainly prove something and probably make the media acknowledge that the Blues are for real.
However, I still think they have a ways to go but it doesn't hurt to have a crop of youngsters now maturing and pushing the more senior players to keep pulling their weight.
Some thing still need to be tightened up and hopefully Koeman will have this sorted by next season. A top form Lukaku with an adequate strike partner would be the key but the best teams usually have good strikers from the middle of the park also and this is were an top form Ross Barkley will be invaluable.
92 Posted 10/02/2017 at 00:27:56
I don't think the media call 'them' the 'big six' or the 'Sky 4', it's only fans like us, usually from clubs enviously outside of those berths.
And Patrick (#24),
The idea that the media 'don't want anyone upsetting their darlings' and have started cooking up rumours about Lukaku and Koeman to unsettle us, sound like the paranoid ramblings of the delusional... Jeez, no wonder they call us "bitter blues".
Everyone's fair game and when we have notable success we are going to draw attention from the story makers.
When we finished 4th we got more coverage and more exposure in the Sky packages the following season remember Tim Cahill punching the corner flag at the start of every Super Sunday programme and Sky Sports advert? I loved it and can't wait til they're cooing over Everton again.
94 Posted 10/02/2017 at 09:36:52
I'm sorry but while I'm sat here in my tin-foil hat, I have no doubt that certain clubs are promoted by the media for a variety of reasons and I'm afraid, until Moshiri's relationship with Jim White blossomed, Everton FC were at best ignored and at worst treated as some sort of by-product of being in its neighbours shadow.
Take these various articles for example
That isn't a comprehensive list by any means; however, it does show that the media do 'package' certain clubs together and the last one was written in August 2015 before Leicester City had decided to gate-crash the party.
I am also very very bitter about the way my club is often perceived in the media, and about the lack of support it had from the press during its time of need in the mid-80s when through no fault of its own it was booted out of Europe. No Daily Mail campaign to see football justice done in those days eh!
I'm just off now to ensure the bunker has enough supplies and to check that ET hasn't sneaked in.
95 Posted 10/02/2017 at 09:43:32
96 Posted 10/02/2017 at 10:15:15
97 Posted 10/02/2017 at 12:23:34
98 Posted 10/02/2017 at 12:54:10
To paraphrase Kevin Keegan though, "I would love it if we finished above them. Love it."
I work with a RS fan. This story just sums them up:
After they were knocked out of the cup against Wolves, he was talking to a Leeds Utd fan at work. Both of them were pleased that they'd been knocked out of the cup then Leeds could focus on a play-off place and the RS said "I just want us to get top 4".
COYB. Finish above them!