McGeady says Everton must aim for Champions League football

Aiden McGeady believes Everton can break into the top four in the Premier League next season after finishing fifth this time round, according to The Daily Mail.

McGeady, who arrived at Goodison Park from Spartak Moscow in January 2014, believes Everton themselves slipped up in the race for Champions League football, but does not want to repeat that shortcoming in an otherwise fantastic season for the Toffees – the first under Roberto Martinez.

“It was in our own hands and we slipped up,” said the former Celtic star.

“We beat Arsenal at home and then we lost to Palace, we lost to Southampton, games that we should have won or we should be winning if we want to be in the top four. But ultimately those two defeats cost us and Arsenal went on and won every single one of their games, so in the end they deserved to be there.

“But we were challenging the top four, so the challenge next season is to go one better and get into that top four.”

McGeady believes the culture on Merseyside, with the mix of talented youth and passionate experience, means the club has become one that must target the top end of the table every year, adding that the youth already present at the club bodes well for the future.

He continued: “With the squad we have got there, the manager and the backroom staff, the potential that the players have got, especially seeing as how many of the players are 22, 23, 24, young players, that’s got to be our aim.”

McGeady had spent his entire career at Celtic from 2004-2010 before leaving for Russia, with Moscow snapping the Republic of Ireland international up for around £9.5m – making him the most expensive player to depart the Scottish Premier League. He was at Spartak for four years before Everton brought about his return to the UK earlier this year, and the midfielder has impressed under Martinez, despite featuring primarily as a substitute during that period.

He is enjoying his football in the north west, as evidenced by his analysis of Everton’s season, especially when compared to that of city rivals Liverpool, who missed out on the title on the final day of the season.

McGeady believes Everton’s achievements have outweighed early season expectations, and hopes the club can build on this moving forward. He said: “We probably out-performed what everybody expected of us from the start of the season.

“At the start of the season, the first three games were draws and everyone was thinking, ‘This is a different type of football, a different way of playing for Everton’.

“But gradually over time, the manager and the way we play, we have won everyone over. We play football the right way and I think everyone is enjoying it.”

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