Everton latest: Defender won't give up on top four, striker linked

Everton Goodison 3

All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from Goodison Park...

Everton bagged a dramatic 2-1 win over Cardiff City at weekend, and Toffees boss Roberto Martinez believes that matchwinner Seamus Coleman is one of the key players for his side, and that the Irish international can go far in his career, particularly with his ability to attack as well as defend.

"It is rare to have someone who can defend, be strong in one-v-one situations, cover the centre-backs and then have the stamina to get forward," Martinez said.

"Seamus has a clinical eye in front of goal, too, and it is quite difficult to find a better full-back than him. We want to see how far he can go. For Seamus to keep playing in those good positions to keep allowing him to score from open play is significant," he added.

Fellow defender Sylvain Distin is the most experienced figure in the Everton back line, and is still hoping that the Merseysiders can still break into the top four of the Premier League, which would give them Champions League qualification - though Everton currently sit nine points behind fourth placed Manchester City, and Distin won't give up.

“As long as it’s mathematically possible, we’ll try,” Distin said. “We won’t give up. When you play for Everton, you’re used to people doubting you. It won’t be the first time; it won’t be the last. We just focus on ourselves, focus hard and we’ve got 10 games left to finish as high as we can.”

Their quest for the top four has been greatly aided by the contributions of Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku, but the Belgian striker will return to Stamford Bridge in the summer, leaving Everton with a big hole to fill up front, and Martinez has seemingly already set about eyeing up replacements. Espanyol's Sergio Garcia, formerly of Barcelona, is believed to be a key target for Martinez, who has regularly shopped in La Liga during his time as a manager in England.

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch