Sylvain Distin hails fighting spirit of Everton following victory over Tottenham

Toffees scored two late goals to thwart Spurs

Everton defender Sylvain Distin believes the club has an inherent winning mentality which is impossible to ignore.

And the Frenchman admits if, as a player, you do not grasp it within a couple of weeks of arriving manager David Moyes is quick to point it out to you.

The players' never-day-die attitude was exemplified in their last-gasp 2-1 win over Tottenham yesterday when Steven Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic scored within 88 seconds of each other to secure a deserved three points after Clint Dempsey's deflected opener against the run of play.

"We always believe we can win and we proved it again," said the centre-back, who stressed they were not happy to settle for a draw after Pienaar's 90th-minute equaliser.

"We were unfortunate with the goal we conceded but we never stopped believing and we always kept fighting.

"We don't have to think about it, that is the mentality at Everton and after two weeks at the club that is how you behave because you follow the rest of the squad.

"Whether we are 1-0 down or 2-0 up, we play from the first second to the last second.

"Personally I've always been like that but if you are a player who is not too much like that you change your attitude pretty quickly and you follow everyone going in the same direction.

"When you join a club like Everton it feels like home after two weeks and it comes naturally - if not you have the gaffer on your back at the end of the game and you don't want that."

The win was only the second in 10 matches but it restored Everton's place in the top four.

Distin insists their current position is not something the squad currently think about but their Champions League dreams may start to materialise if they still occupy a top-four slot in a month's time.

"It doesn't mean a lot to us now," he added.

"It is obviously better to be there than in the bottom four but it is too early.

"The more time goes and more you stay in this position then the more you start to believe.

"But we have to get through the Christmas period and see where we are and then we can start dreaming.

"But I can't see any easy games. Every game is important and we are really focused on what we want to do."

Nevertheless, Everton are better equipped than they have been for a long time to challenge for a top-four place.

The last - and only - time they qualified for the Champions League was in 2005.

That was four years before Distin arrived at Goodison Park but the defender believes Everton's football is the best he has seen since he joined from Portsmouth.

"We've played some really nice football, we are a lot more offensive than we used to be," he said.

"We can play long ball to Felli (Marouane Fellaini) or short down the sides with Leighton Baines or Kevin Mirallas.

"Even sometimes the physios come to watch training and after when we're having a massage they will say 'training was great today'.

"There is really great quality, a good atmosphere and great determination.

"I've been here four years and I think it is the best football squad we have and it is very attractive for the fans and they enjoy it.

"It has been frustrating for them with the draws we've had but they have to remember those were the kind of games we would have lost last season.

"They have to keep believing because we believe."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Extras
indybest
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
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

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits