Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard believes a combination of strong performances and good fortune can steer his side to European places this season.
The USA international has admitted that results elsewhere will be crucial to the Toffees' successful bid of returning European football to Goodison Park.
A 1-0 win over Stoke City last week – Everton’s third on the bounce – enabled David Moyes’ men to remain within touching distance with their top-four rivals.
However, the Merseyside club face a difficult run-in to the end of the season and are yet to play Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool.
They are currently four points off fourth-placed Chelsea, but Howard thinks that positive results against their rivals, coupled with a bit of good fortune, could help them gatecrash into the top-four.
“We’re keeping pace," He told the club’s official website. "I think we need a bit of luck but as long as we keep putting in the performances, and cross our fingers that some of the teams in front of us will drop points.
“If we can start taking points off around those around us, maybe we can make our own luck and make them drop points.
"Big players perform well under pressure, they thrive off it, that’s why we’re at this level and that’s why we’re not languishing in the middle or at the bottom and it’s all to play for.
“I think that spurs us on and makes training a bit more competitive and tougher and hopefully that will give us the strength to push on down the stretch."
First up for the Toffees out of their remaining eight fixtures are Tottenham at White Hart Lane this Sunday.
The reverse fixture between the two teams at Goodison Park saw the Merseysiders stun Andre Villas-Boas’ unit by firing home two late goals to record a sensational 2-1 win.
And Howard was confident his side can continue with their impressive recent record against Spurs when the two sides clash this weekend.
He finished by saying: “It will be tough at Tottenham on Sunday. They are fantastic and playing really well and it’s a tough place to go but we’ve had some success down the years so we’ll draw from that."
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