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McGeady's 'incredible ability' key for Toffees


Everton's Aiden McGeady. Photo: Peter Byrne/ PA Wire

Everton's Aiden McGeady. Photo: Peter Byrne/ PA Wire

Everton's Aiden McGeady. Photo: Peter Byrne/ PA Wire

EVERTON boss Roberto Martinez expects Ireland international Aiden McGeady (pictured) to come into his own in a crucial phase of the season for the Toffees.

McGeady has struggled to get into the starting XI at Goodison Park since his January move from Spartak Moscow and Saturday's win against Swansea City was only his second start in the Premier League.

But with rival winger Steven Pienaar out for up to a month due to injury, McGeady is expected to fill in as he did in the 3-2 win over Swansea.

"You can see he is a very different footballer with how he enjoys the one-v-one situations," says Martinez of McGeady.

"He has got a such an incredible ability – sometimes you can miss his touches. He goes away from players with ease and I thought he was a constant threat. He was very strong and it was a really good game for him to be involved.

"With Steven Pienaar injured, we had a real threat and he was able to perform with a real attacking mentality," added Martinez.

Everton defender Sylvain Distin insists their European dream will remain alive until the numbers no longer add up.

The Toffees are within eight points of fourth-placed Arsenal with a match in hand, and the Gunners still to come to Goodison Park.

While the Europa League remains the most likely outcome, Distin said they will continue to push for fourth place until it is taken out of their reach.

"The dream is always alive as long as it is mathematically possible," he said. "We are not in a position where we have to focus on the team above us. We cannot depend on them (dropping points), so there is no point looking at it now.

"You have to win. If you want to be successful, you can't start a game thinking it will be okay to draw this one."

Everton head to Newcastle tomorrow looking to maintain their European challenge, but Distin admits they have to tighten up if they are to finish the season strongly.

Having forged a comfortable 3-1 lead thanks to Leighton Baines' penalty – cancelled out by Wilfried Bony's close-range strike in the first half – and goals from Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley early in the second half, they conceded a late Ashley Williams header.

In truth, they never looked entirely comfortable closing out the game in the last 20 minutes of the game.

"We don't score many goals and we made it difficult for ourselves," the Frenchman added.