JOHN HEITINGA insists Everton must maintain the intensity which led to their rousing victory over Manchester City if they are to win their race for European football next season.
After a week of criticism and doubt sparked by their dismal FA Cup quarter-final exit last weekend against Wigan, the Blues responded in defiant fashion to beat the Premier League’s reigning champions 2-0.
And Heitinga, who also overcame his recent spell of poor form with a fine performance, believes that Saturday’s display proved that team spirit at Goodison Park remains as strong as ever.
He said: “I think we showed that the team spirit is still here. We had to come back after a difficult week.
“It was hard for us, because everybody wanted to go to Wembley. For the first couple of days, everybody was disappointed, but we bounced back today, which was the only thing we could do.
“It was a great team performance. It is hard to say who was our best player, everybody played well. The way I see it now is that we have to play nine finals. Before this match, I told myself we had 10 finals, and now we have nine left.
“I want to go and play with Everton in Europe. We have nine finals, and we must see it game by game. The squad is really strong, and the focus must only be on the next game.”