Carlo Ancelotti admits he is targeting European qualification with Everton this season following the club’s impressive recent run of form.
The Merseyside club have been in resurgent form since Ancelotti’s arrival as manager in December, losing just once in the Premier League under the Italian and moving into the top half of the division following a difficult start to the season.
Only league leaders Liverpool have taken more points than the Toffees over their past ten fixtures, the club having moved within just four points of fifth-placed Tottenham in the race to secure European football.
Everton host Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on Saturday lunchtime as they look to continue their recent run, and Ancelotti admits securing Europa League football is the target for his side over the second half of the campaign.
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“We have to focus on this game, it comes after a lot of matches and we have done well and want to close this period with a victory,” said Ancelotti at his pre-match press conference.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for us to climb the table.
“To play in the Europa League would be a fantastic result for us for next season. This has to be our target in this moment… and we will see in the next few games what is going to happen.
“The spirit of the team is good and results have helped create a good atmosphere here. It was a fantastic effort to win at Watford. That helped keep motivation high and maintain that good atmosphere.
“I expect a difficult game against Palace. Every team has its own quality, Palace has a manager with a lot of experience and players with a lot of quality, so we have to be at 100 per cent of our capability.
“But with the support of our stadium we can achieve three points.”