Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Toffees Fear Season Is Coming Unstuck

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Toffees Fear Season Is Coming Unstuck

Article excerpt

EVERTON midfielder Leon Osman believes it will be "a disaster" if the club slip up against Newcastle on Sunday and fail to qualify for the UEFA Cup.

Wigan-born Osman picked up the club's goal of the season trophy at Wednesday's third annual awards dinner in Liverpool.

But his mind was very much on the final home match against United.

If Everton lose and Aston Villa win at West Ham, then fifth place and UEFA Cup qualification will be snatched from them, despite them not having been out of the top five since January.

Osman said: "Sunday's game means everything to us. Not only to make sure we are automatically in the UEFA Cup proper, but we don't really want to be left in the InterToto Cup.

"With that competition the players have to start back training a couple of weeks earlier and it means competitive football earlier than it should be for the lads, with their fitness levels not quite right by then."

Everton were unlucky to go out of the UEFA Cup this term at the last-16 stage on penalties to eventual semi-finalists Fiorentina, and they desperately want another taste of the competition. …

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