Fernandes - No more slip-ups
Manuel Fernandes fears Everton will fail to secure European football if they lose to Aston Villa.
Last Updated: 21/04/08 2:44pm
Manuel Fernandes fears that Everton will fail to secure European football next season if they lose to Aston Villa on Sunday.
Everton's 1-0 defeat to Chelsea last Thursday has left David Moyes' fifth-placed side only three points clear of Villa in the battle to secure an automatic spot in next season's Uefa Cup.
Villa have embarked on a recent run of three successive victories to leave them hot on the heels of Everton, while the Toffees have recorded only five points from their last six games.
And midfielder Fernandes - who is on loan from Valencia - is demanding Everton return to winning ways when Villa visit Goodison Park, live on Sky Sports 1.
"The Villa game is really important. If we don't get points, it's going to be difficult to stay in fifth," Fernandes told the Liverpool Echo.
"All the games until the end of the season are really important because if we don't win then staying in fifth position will be difficult and then we won't even be in the Uefa Cup."
Fernandes' own future has yet to be decided as Moyes contemplates a permanent move, but the 22-year-old is desperate to prove that he is back to his best after struggling for recent form.
"I feel I am getting better and better," Fernandes added. "I'm happier. It's always important to play a full 90 minutes.
"Fitness levels for me are really important. I need to have a good fitness level so I can get up and down the pitch.
"I hope I am really close to full fitness. Although we lost on Thursday, I enjoyed the game personally."