Steven Naismith on the one vital thing that has inspired Everton's form

Everton forward Steven Naismith has been speaking about the club's confidence and squad-ethos.

Everton just keep winning, and with each three points, they get closer to the unlikely but potentially wondrous possibility of Champions League qualification.

That was what Roberto Martinez is said to have set his heart on when he first took the job; but few believed he would inspire it so swiftly…if ever.

Of course there is still plenty of football to be played, and for now Everton will simply be hoping to stay ahead of Arsenal for the remaining five matches. But whatever happens between now and the final kick of the final game, the Toffees’ players and backroom staff can hold their heads high.

One player who deserves considerable credit is Steven Naismith, who has been wonderful since Martinez’s arrival. And the front-man has revealed just why his side is flying so high in an interview with the club’s official website.

Speaking after Everton’s 1-0 win over Sunderland, the Scottish international said, “Last week (against Arsenal) was a massive three points and this one was just as big.

“The confidence is really high and it shows you the confidence we’ve got in the squad with Gerard Deulofeu coming in and effectively getting the match-winner.

“That’s what it’s been all along – about the squad. We’re confident going into every game and now we’re at the business end of things we just need to keep on winning.”

It is telling that Naismith said it has always been this way – this sense of teamwork, playing for each other, winning for each other.

If that is what Martinez has instilled in his players in such a short space of time, he deserves all the credit that will rain down on him regardless of where Everton finish this season.

But just five more team performances and he could soon be pitting his wits against some of the best coaches in Europe. And then the real challenge will begin…

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