(Reuters) – Everton must approach the rest of their Premier League fixtures as if each match were a final in order to improve on their current 10th place in the standings, manager Marco Silva said on Thursday.
Everton are on 37 points after 29 games and, while reeling in the top six is unlikely, Silva’s side are six points off Wolverhampton Wanderers in seventh.
After a run of three straight league defeats, Everton bounced back with a 3-0 win at Cardiff City and held city rivals Liverpool to a 0-0 draw at home, results Silva said helped improve the team’s confidence.
“We have to look at each match like a final for us, like we did against Cardiff and the derby (against Liverpool) also,” Silva told reporters ahead of Saturday’s trip to Newcastle United.
“Each game we must do our maximum to achieve the three points, and do everything to finish the season in a good run and a good spot also in the table.
“Everything is open for us, (it’s) not important to talk about the last games. It was a good week for us. Of course, it helps to grow the confidence of the team.”
However, Newcastle have won their last four league fixtures at St James’ Park, conceding one goal.
“Newcastle have shown they are solid at home. They are always a solid team with their defensive organisation, and really strong in the counter attack,” Silva added.
The Portuguese also said defenders Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka would not be available for the game, although both players have made only five and two league starts respectively this season.
“Leighton Baines is not ready. Jagielka has missed the last two sessions, too,” Silva said.
“Everyone else is OK to play the match and try and win.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)