Everton v Crystal Palace: Roberto Martinez claims his side 'have the winning mentality' to finish above Arsenal in Premier League table
Everton have been victorious in each of their last seven league fixtures
Wednesday 16 April 2014
Roberto Martinez believes Everton's mentality can give them an advantage in the battle to qualify for the Champions League.
The Toffees overtook Arsenal in fourth place with victory over Sunderland at the weekend to move into pole position with five games remaining but Arsenal overtook the Toffees again last night after their win over West Ham.
Everton are enjoying their best winning league run since the 1980s and will look to make it eight victories in a row when Crystal Palace visit Goodison Park on Wednesday night.
The club have qualified for the Champions League just once in the Premier League era, while Arsenal are looking to do so for the 18th consecutive season.
Asked whether the mental side could prove the difference, Everton boss Martinez said: "It always is, and not just for us but for every team that goes into meaningful games.
"You only decide games on technical, tactical and physical aspects when they don't mean much.
"When there is a real meaning in every point that you play for, psychologically you need to be very strong, and probably that's a big advantage that we have, and we've shown that in the last seven or eight weeks.
"The team is focused, the football club is focused and we are very much all together fighting for the same aim. Psychologically we've got that winning mentality that you need.
"When you get into a position like we are, it's a little bit unknown ground breaking through the points tally that we have.
"Psychologically we're taking a very simple approach, trying to give everything that we've got and everything we've learned over the last 10 months to be as competitive as we can in every game."
The victory over Sunderland took Everton to 66 points, setting a new record for their highest total in the Premier League.
While Martinez is focusing intently on the clash with in-form Palace, who have won their last three games, he also believes looking at the bigger picture is essential.
He said: "I always take the same approach that in the final third of the season you need to have a little bit of an overall view, and I think we've been doing that.
"What I've been pleased about is we've been using the whole squad available, the players are looking ready, fresh and sharp.
"We do look at the maximum points that we can fight for, and with the amount of points we have now and the 15 we can fight for, it's a really exciting end to the season for us."
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