“The manager wouldn’t allow it anyway. He leads from the front with regards top work ethic here and if we keep following his example we won’t be far away.”
Everton’s impressive record during 2012 was such that only Manchester duo United and City garnered more Premier League points.
And right-back Seamus Coleman says: “That statistic is a massive compliment. It just shows how well the team has done since January.
“The likes of Steven Pienaar coming back, Darron Gibson coming in and Nikica Jelavic’s goals have really helped that. Those three players really helped the team kick on.
“It would be disappointing not to finish in that top six. We are going for the top four but we know it’s not going to be easy.
“You have a lot of teams that want to finish there. It’s going to be a long season but we have to just keep playing well.
“We have to be on top of our games because I think it’s six points and we could be in the bottom half – it is that tight.
“There are a lot of teams around us in the top half of the table – we have to play well every week to get three points.”
It won’t be easy for Everton, who must travel to United, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool between now and the end of the season.
First up, though, is Monday’s trip to Southampton at St Mary’s, whose record of just two defeats in their last 11 Premier League games before their midweek trip to Chelsea has helped them move out of the relegation zone.
Nigel Adkins’ men were soundly beaten 3-1 at Goodison back in September, but have since shored up their defence to an extent that their recent run has seen them concede more than one goal in only one game – a 3-3 draw at Stoke City last month.
While disappointed with the draw against Swansea last Saturday, Everton at least managed to keep a clean sheet for the first time since winning the reverse fixture 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium almost four months previous.
And Leighton Baines says: “I’m disappointed to only take a point – it was frustrating. Swansea kind of set out for a point and they nullified us, especially in the first half.
“Teams have been going man for man in certain games. They’ve played two right-backs and done a decent job with it.
“But we look for the positives. There’s the clean sheet and the run that we’re on continues.
“We’ll dust ourselves down now. We’ve got a bit of time in between the two games and hopefully we’ll be fresh and ready to go when we get to Southampton.”