Leon Osman admits Everton are 'outsiders' for the Champions League, but says they shouldn't be counted out from finishing fourth in the Premier League table

Arsenal currently occupy the final Champions League qualification place

Midfielder Leon Osman is refusing to rule out Everton's chances of Champions League qualification after an impressive victory at Newcastle.

The Toffees climbed to within six points of fourth-placed Arsenal after winning 3-0 at St James' Park on Tuesday evening to leave Arsene Wenger's men looking anxiously over their shoulders.

The Gunners, who have played a game more than Everton, head for Goodison Park on April 6, and with Manchester pair United and City also due on the blue half of Merseyside before the campaign draws to a conclusion, their hosts could yet have a major say in who occupies the top four positions in May.

Osman told Everton Player: "We have got to play some of the big teams yet and we are certainly vying for it ourselves.

"We are the outsiders at the minute, but we are going to keep ticking along and see how close we can get.

"We had had back-to-back wins before last night and we were desperate to make it three on the run.

"It's important that we have started to pick up points away from home to get us in the direction we are going for."

However, like manager Roberto Martinez, Osman is taking nothing for granted as he approaches a potentially thrilling eight-game run-in.

Everton travel to lowly Fulham on Sunday knowing all their good work on Tyneside will count for little if they do not repeat it at Craven Cottage.

The 32-year-old Osman said: "It is important, but it's the next game, we have got to concentrate on the next game. We did that last night and it went well, and now we will concentrate on the next game."

The Toffees will set off for London brimming with confidence after producing a fine display in the north-east to emerge with a deserved victory.

If they were due collective praise for a performance which combined defensive organisation with fluent, pacy attack, there were plaudits too for a series of individuals.

Osman himself was hugely influential, as was young Spaniard Gerard Deulofeu.

However, it was England World Cup hopeful Ross Barkley who stole the headlines with an opening goal which left even the black and white faithful marvelling at his efforts.

The score was 0-0 with 22 minutes played when the 20-year-old accepted Deulofeu's chested lay-off and set off on a run which was to take him from deep inside his own half and then across the entire Newcastle defence before he smashed an unstoppable shot past helpless keeper Tim Krul.

Had Barkley's strike proved to be the game's only goal, it would have been worthy of the points, but Romelu Lukaku's 53rd-minute strike and a third from Osman three minutes from time wrapped up a comprehensive victory.

Osman said: "We have always felt we are capable of that, we have been scoring some decent goals this season. But to get three goals like that on the night was even more pleasing.

"It was a good performance. We came out of the blocks quickly, we took control of the game, passed it around quickly and got the goals at the right times on the night.

"It was very pleasing."

It proved a sobering night for the Magpies as banned manager Alan Pardew looked on for the final time via video-link.

He will return to the stadium, if not the touchline, when his side makes the trip to Southampton on Saturday, and assistant John Carver for one will be glad to see him back.

He said: "It will be great having Alan back here because he is the manager. He knows his role, and I know my role. It will be better for him just being in and around the dressing room.

"He has different ideas at times from me and we bounce ideas off each other. I've done that with [coach] Steve Stone, but in all honesty, the manager has a lot more experience than Steve, who hasn't been coaching that long.

"It will be nice to have him back."

PA

Suggested Topics
News
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
businessUber, Snapchat and Facebook founders among those on the 2015 Forbes Billionaire List
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
News
Homer’s equation, in an episode in 1998, comes close to the truth, as revealed 14 years later
science
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003