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Apr 3, 2013

Howard: Everton thrive under pressure

Tim Howard believes Everton's players are thriving on the pressure of chasing Champions League football.

David Moyes' side kept in touch with the top four by securing a third successive Premier League win on Saturday, beating Stoke 1-0 at Goodison Park. That win has left Everton in sixth, just four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with eight matches to play.

Those eight matches include trips to all four of the sides immediately around them, starting with a visit to third-placed Tottenham on Sunday.

Everton also still have to visit fifth-placed Arsenal, Liverpool - who are seventh - and Chelsea before the end of the season. It means that Moyes' side will have chances to reduce the gap on the teams above them, and Howard believes they have the ability to do just that.

The goalkeeper told the Liverpool Daily Post: "We're keeping pace. 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 those around us, maybe we can make our own luck and make them drop points. Big players perform well under pressure - they thrive on it. That's why we're at this level and that's why we're not languishing in the middle or at the bottom. It is all to play for.

"I think that spurs us on and makes training a bit more competitive and tougher. We hope that will give us the strength to push on down the stretch.

"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 there down the years so we'll draw from that."

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