Everton to apply for Intertoto
By Carla Hilton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Everton look to back up their chance of securing a Uefa Cup spot via the Intertoto Cup.
Everton have applied to take part in the 2007 Intertoto Cup in a bid to back-up their chance of qualifying for the Uefa Cup via their league position.
Under the new format, The Toffees will only have to overcome one round of the tournament in July before entering a pre-qualifying round for the Uefa Cup.
The Blues will be entered into the Intertoto if they are the highest placed side outside of the automatic European qualification positions to have applied.
But Everton skipper Phil Neville has urged his players to keep their performance level at its best in the league in order to maintain their challenge for a European qualification.
The Toffees put up an impressive performance against strugglers Watford last weekend to bring them closer to sixth place Reading, and will face a tough tie against battlers Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Saturday.
"If we can go to Sheffield United and show the same concentration and the same confidence, we will be okay," said Neville.
"If it had been five at Watford, I do not think it would have been an unfair reflection of the game. We were outstanding, particularly in the first half."
Neville believes James Beattie's return to form could be crucial in the run-in, adding: "James has been our best player in the last couple of games. He has got back into the side and hit the ground running.
"He could be the key for us between now and the end of the season because he is fresh and raring to go.
"All that is missing now is for him to get a goal. The more games he plays, the more his touch will improve.
"He has worked well with Andy Johnson. They are both big players for us, important players who can get us goals.
"It would be nice to see James get one at Bramall Lane, we just have to maintain the level of performance we showed at Watford."
In addition to Everton, Blackburn, Bolton, Fulham, Middlesborough, Tottenham and Newcastle have all issued applications for the Intertoto Cup.