Barry targets Everton top four finish

On-loan Everton midfielder Gareth Barry believes that a top four finish and a place in next season’s Champions League is a realistic target for the Toffees, Sky Sports has reported.

In their first season under Roberto Martinez, who took over from David Moyes in the summer, Everton find themselves in fifth place after 14 games, behind rivals Liverpool on goal difference. They have lost just once, less than any other side in the Premier League, and pulled off their first win at Manchester United in 21 years on Wednesday evening.

The last time Everton finished in the top four was in 2005, but they failed to make it through Champions League qualifying and were soon out of Europe altogether, and since then they have had to be content with a few Europa League campaigns.

Upon his arrival, Martinez claimed that reaching the Champions League should be the target for Everton, and Barry, who is on a season-long loan from Manchester City, believes that the start the club has made has them full of confidence. He said:

“If we set our targets to the highest point, then that is going to be it.

“Getting into that top four is going to be big ask. If you spoke about Everton before the season, then I don’t think people would have been talking about us challenging for that spot. But the way the first 14 games have gone, I don’t see why we cannot set our targets that high.

“It’s his (Martinez’s) first season, he is still putting his ideas across and the lads have adapted to them really quickly. It’s still the first season and you are still learning, but if we can keep improving, then it’s going to be brilliant for Everton.”

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