Friday 20 April 2018

Pienaar feeling Euro pressure

Midfielder Steven Pienaar, scorer of Everton's stunning second goal in the 3-1 victory over Reading on Saturday, admits the club may need to use the "back door" to secure European football at Goodison Park for next season.

Everton's hopes of claiming a Champions League place took a knock last month but they still have an outside chance of finishing fourth.

Even if they do not make it into the elite competition, they should be strong contenders to bring continental football back to the club via the Europa League, through league position or the FA Cup, in which they face Wigan on Saturday in the sixth round. Everton have not played in Europe since the 2009-10 season.

"Sometimes you have to go through the back door, so there is a little less pressure on us now," Pienaar said. "We will see how the other teams do and, hopefully, we can sneak in.

"I think it is fairly good to play in European competitions. After the Premier League there are only two bigger cups – the Europa League and the Champions League. All the players want to play in it and it is important for the club to get European football."

Irish Independent

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