Neville: Everton need to be more ruthless

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Everton skipper Phil Neville admits a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal will be a major factor if the Toffees miss out on a European spot for next season.

Neville believes David Moyes' side can take a lot of pride in the way they have performed during the second half of the season after a major injury list affected them before Christmas. But he feels Wednesday night's 2-2 draw at Aston Villa - where Everton led twice through Tim Cahill goals - once again showcased a failing to kill off games when in control.

"We kept the ball well against Villa, had chances to score, and that has probably been the story of our season really in that we've not finished teams off when we've got in winning positions," said Neville.

"That has been the story, particularly in the last couple of months. Our main problem, even since Christmas when we've played well, is that we haven't been as ruthless in front of goal as we should have been.

"It's games like this one, Wolves twice, Stoke at home, Villa at home, Birmingham twice, where we have dropped points when, if you want to get to fourth or fifth place, you've got to be beating those teams.

"That's what we did last season and we've not this time around. We've just not won these games.

"Last season we beat all the teams around us and below us and lost to the top-four sides. It's been roles reversed this season. We've beaten the top sides and not been clinical enough against the sides below us."

Neville believes it is important Everton have another crack at Europe but accepts they may have to win their remaining four games to have any hope of achieving that goal.

He said: "Before the game, we still thought a point wouldn't be a bad result but we needed to win the game. We are not out of it but with four games left now, the clock is ticking and we are running out of time.

"We set our targets in January. If we win three of our last four games, we will still probably meet the targets in terms of points. Hopefully that will take us into Europe."

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Premier League
Phil Neville

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