Toffees eyeing Euro prize
Tim Cahill and David Moyes insist that winning the Uefa Cup remains a top target for Everton.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 20/02/08 6:33pm
Tim Cahill and David Moyes insist that winning the Uefa Cup remains a top target for Everton this season.
The Toffees are flying high in the Premier League at present and are currently in pole position to claim the fourth, and final, UEFA Champions League spot.
However, they are refusing to dedicate all their efforts into their league campaign while they continue to make good progress in Europe.
A comfortable 2-0 win away in Brann last week has put them in a strong position of reaching the last 16 of the Uefa Cup and, while admitting that joining city neighbours Liverpool in the Champions League remains the long-term goal, midfielder Cahill is determined to get his hands on some European silverware this term.
"We all want to be in the Champions League, but we know where we are and what we have achieved. At the moment the Uefa Cup means everything to us," he said.
"The Champions League would be fantastic and we are building a great squad. But we can't spend £28million on strikers and £18million on midfielders just yet, we have to be realistic over the market we are in. But the reality is that we are doing really well.
"The biggest thing is that we are playing in Europe and playing massive games. We are aware of where we are and where we could be soon.
"Everyone wants the Champions League and to spend £100m on transfers every year.
"But this club has improved every year. Each season we have done something better and achieved more. We are improving and not going backwards.
"We have a lot of players here who could play in Champions League sides, we just have to keep going and we will make it.
"We will make that happen and move forward. Liverpool are doing well and fair enough, but they have had to spend £200million to do it, so for us it is all about who we are and where we are.
"We have pride and we are striving to give that to the fans, hopefully we will be there soon.
"But our position speaks for itself. We know what we have achieved already but want more."
Everton boss Moyes also believes that success in the Uefa Cup would be the ideal way to prepare for a tilt at Europe's premier club competition next season.
"From a club point of view we need European football to develop, and that is what is happening," he said.
"I'd rather be in the Champions League, but at the moment I am grateful for the Uefa Cup and what it is doing for us.
"To say it is a poor competition is wrong. We have loved it. Our supporters are treating it seriously, and so are we.
"We strived so hard to get into this position, we don't want to give it up after how difficult it was to qualify.
"If we want to see our reputation grow in Europe, and within the British game as well, we must keep qualifying for European competition every year.
"But we are virgin-like really at this level. But we are enjoying the competition.
"We realise it takes 15 games to win. But if that is what it takes, so be it. And I hope it is the same next season, that will tell us we are going in the right direction.
"I know what it is going to take, but we will be going for it, we want to move this club forward."