SYLVAIN DISTIN believes Everton FC will not be driven by revenge when they aim to rekindle hopes of Champions League qualification tomorrow.
David Moyes’s side entertain struggling Reading having succumbed to a shock 2-1 defeat at the Madjeski Stadium back in November.
It was Reading’s sole victory in the first half of the campaign with Brian McDermott’s men still deep in the relegation mire despite a revival since the turn of the year.
Everton have won only two of their last six league games to drop seven points adrift of fourth place and the final Champions League berth.
And Distin, who last week became the first foreign outfield player to make 400 Premier League appearances, insists closing that gap will be the only thing on the team’s mind tomorrow.
“I don’t think there’s any sense of revenge,” said the French defender. “We want to win this game, but simply because of the position we are in now.
“Every single point is going to be important between now and the end of the season.
“It will be a tough game, Reading will come here looking for something, one point will be good for them.
“They will give everything and that’s what will happen in every game between now and the end of the season, 80% of the teams will have something to play for. But Premier League games are never easy.”
Despite Everton’s indifferent recent league form, Distin preferred to accentuate the positives with Moyes’s men now within 90 minutes of a return to Wembley having seen off npower League One side Oldham Athletic in their FA Cup fifth round replay on Tuesday.
“Last month might have been disappointing and frustrating, but if you look at the big picture we are sixth in the league not far from fourth and we are competing against teams who have spent six or 10 times the money we have spent,” he added.
“And we are still in the cup. So it’s difficult to be disappointing when you look at everything.”
Tuesday was a landmark night for Leon Osman who, having already this season celebrated a decade at Goodison and earned a first England cap, scored his 50th career goal for Everton in the 3-1 win.
And Distin said: “Ossie is a great player and a funny guy as well. He is part of the reason why we have such a good atmosphere in the squad. He is always in a good mood and always working hard.
“He is a great guy and he really represents Everton – the club is at this level because of guys like him. He is a very humble guy who is there for you if you need him. He is very important in the team.
“He is consistent – that’s what his strength is. Even on a bad day he is still doing his job, working hard no matter what. You need a guy like that in your team.”