Seamus Coleman is still clinging to the hope that Everton can reach next season's Champions League -- despite apparently insurmountable odds.
Roberto Martinez's side are 11 points off a top-four Premier League spot with only 12 games to play. Three defeats in their last four league games, away to Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea, have left Everton seventh in the table, with a Europa League spot now their most realistic target. They currently have 45 points, and no team in the last seven seasons has finished in England's top four with fewer than 68. Last season, Tottenham collected 72 points and still only finished fifth, suggesting that Everton would have to average two points a game over the remainder of the season to stand any chance of Champions League football. But Republic of Ireland right-back Coleman, one of the Toffees' most consistent performers this season, is refusing to give up just yet. The 25-year-old told the Liverpool Echo: "It's going to be very difficult now. "I'm really disappointed that we've faded off fourth a bit in the last couple of weeks. "But personally I'm holding onto the dream even though I know it's difficult. We just need to keep going. "We're still aiming to finish as high up the table as we can, and whether it's Champions League or Europa League, I'd like to play in Europe at some level and I hope it can be next season. "We've got the game in hand against Crystal Palace, which was annoying when that was called off but that's the way it goes. "It's important we don't slip away now. It's a key time of the season now when we need to be picking up results." Meanwhile, Alan Myers has left his position as director of communications after seven months. Myers confirmed his departure on Twitter, with the club saying it was for "personal reasons".