Gibson targets Champions League under Martinez

The Everton man believes the Toffees can challenge for a top-four spot this season under Roberto Martinez

Darron Gibson may be best known for his speculative efforts at goal but the midfielder believes that, when it comes to Champions League qualification, Everton are far from long shots.

The Toffees have been chewing up the opposition of late in the Premier League with a 1-0 home win over big-spending Chelsea followed up by Saturday’s battling 3-2 comeback victory over West Ham.

It represents a stark contrast to the fortunes of David Moyes, who has endured something close to a baptism of fire at new club Manchester United, with the Red Devils 8th in the Premier League standings and a point behind Everton.

Gibson would be forgiven for feeling a tinge of sympathy for his former club and manager but the Republic of Ireland star was solely focused on his Merseyside employers and new boss Roberto Martinez during a recent interview.

Speaking in the wake of their latest victory over the Hammers, the 25-year-old was keen to highlight the positive influence of the Spaniard at the club.

“Technically and tactically he knows what he’s talking about, is very well educated, never seems to be stressed out and is always smiling,” he told the Daily Star.

And after enjoying an unbeaten start to the current campaign in which new arrivals like Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku have shone, the midfielder believes big things could be on the horizon for the club.

“If we keep all our key players fit then we can finish top four. There’s no doubt about it,” Gibson said.

While next weekend’s home encounter with an inconsistent Newcastle side represents an opportunity to pick up three more points, a trip to Manchester City the following week could provide a true test of their top four credentials.

And if there is one area of the team that remains a concern for the Toffees it’s up front, with Romelu Lukaku and Arouna Kone the only viable options given the current malaise being endured by Nikica Jelavic.

If there is one man that can help the Croatian rediscover his touch in front of goal though it is Martinez, with the former Wigan coach previously working miracles with the likes of Franco Di Santo at the DW Stadium.

In the meantime, Gibson will be firing on all cylinders to help Everton climb up the table. 

images: © illarterate, © illarterate

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