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Sunday 25 August 2019

Silva believes Everton should be Euro regulars

Marco Silva. Photo: Tony O'Brien
Marco Silva. Photo: Tony O'Brien

Marco Silva has repeated his desire to see Everton qualify for Europe every season and rejected suggestions doing so could hinder them domestically.

Everton are four points behind Wolves with two games left in the race for seventh place in the Premier League - a position which would ensure a Europa League berth if Manchester City beat Watford in the FA Cup final.

Burnley, their opponents at Goodison Park tonight, struggled to juggle the demands of the top flight and Europe, following up last season's seventh-place finish with a fight for survival this term. But Goodison boss Silva believes Everton should be competing abroad on an annual basis.

When asked if Burnley's situation could happen to Everton, Silva replied: "I have a different opinion about this.

"It's not a moment for us to talk about if Everton qualify or not, we have to keep doing our job, fighting to achieve the points and after we will see the position in the table.

"We have to play every single season in European competitions for us to keep growing as a club. It has to be always a pleasure, it has to be always a fantastic challenge for us and not a problem.

"When this happens we have to prepare ourselves and the squad, and a deep squad, to prepare to play in both competitions. It will always be a big challenge, never a problem."

Burnley seemed to be in trouble when thumped 5-1 by Everton on St Stephen's Day, a defeat that left them three points adrift of safety. But they improved in the new year and have guaranteed their top-flight status ahead of tonight's game, a situation Silva had expected.

He added: "They remain in the Premier League but it's not a surprise to me. They deserve to."

Everton go in search of their fourth successive home win and do so with Yerry Mina and Theo Walcott available.

Mina has been out for a month with a hamstring injury and Walcott was a doubt for last week's 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace - although he made a late substitute appearance.

Tom Davies (20) earlier this week signed a new four-year deal with Everton.

The England midfielder was the club's youngest captain when he took the armband on occasion this season, though he has appeared only intermittently in recent months, with his last start on February 9.

But Silva added: "It's really important for everyone to understand he's still just 20.

"We are happy with him even if in the last three or four months of the season you didn't see him often in our starting XI.

"He will be more important in the future, I don't have doubts about that."

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