By Matt Farr
Everton defender Ashley Williams is confident the club can beat their rivals to a fifth place finish in the Premier League this season.
The Toffees have been in fine form of late, losing just two of their last 15 Premier League games, which leaves them just seven points adrift of the top four.
But they face fierce competition to break into a Champions League qualification spot from rivals Manchester United (fifth) and Arsenal (sixth), who sit narrowly ahead of Everton in the table.
Everton have also played two more games than both their closest rivals, who are still alive in cup competitions, but Williams is confident they can secure fifth spot, and issued a stern warning.
He said, as quoted by the Daily Star: “Getting into fifth is what we’re trying to do, obviously whether we achieve it or not depends on what the others do as well, but all we can do is look after our own games, and we’ve been doing that.
“We have a lot of confidence and are winning a lot of games. As the season has gone on I feel like without it being said we have realised we are a good team. Hopefully we are starting to look like one of those teams.
“We want to push to try to be in that top group in the league, which is a difficult ask of anyone to break into that elite group.”
The Wales international also added that club will be targeting a top four finish next season, and qualification for the Champions League.
Everton have developed a free-scoring streak under Ronald Koeman of late, having scored three or more goals in a game on five of their last 10 league games, which bodes well for the season run-in.
Romelu Lukaku has been central to the club’s recent attacking resurgence, scoring 24 league goals from 32 appearances, where he tops the Premier League scoring charts.
The 23-year-old will be integral to Everton’s bid to finish in the Premier League’s top five this season, as will Williams in a defensive roles, with clean sheets also high on the agenda.
In other Everton news, the club have made an emphatic reported transfer decision on 23-year-old.