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Marco Silva demands strong finish to the season from Everton

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Blues boss says his team have an ‘obligation’ to continue their good vein of form

Crystal Palace v Everton FC - Premier League
Silva’s Everton face Burnley at Goodison Park on Friday
Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images

Everton manager Marco Silva said he wants to see his side finish their home campaign with a strong performance and a win when Burnley come to Goodison Park on Friday night.

The Clarets are the last team to visit Goodison this season, a ground where Everton have not lost or conceded a goal since February 6.

With an outside chance of finishing seventh and possible European qualification to play for, Silva said there will be no let-up from his side in the final two games against Burnley and away to Tottenham Hotspur next Sunday. Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday, he said:

“Our obligation is to keep playing the way we have played in the last few months, to keep doing the right things to achieve good results, and in the end, we will see what position we are in the table. We can just control what is in our hands, and what will be in our hands will be the two matches, of course.

“The next match will be the most important thing for us. It will be tough, but we want to finish our last home match in a good way. Taking the three points will be tough; the Premier League is always tough, and playing against Burnley is always tough, also. It is up to us to do our best and to do 100 per cent to win the match.”

After a difficult winter, Silva’s side have found form since late February, winning five of their last nine games, including victories over Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United, and keeping seven clean sheets in that time.

When asked how important it is for him to see Everton win their final home game to send a further message that they are heading in the right direction, the Toffees manager replied:

“It is really important. It is always a very good feeling for us to play at home with our fans. Together, we have changed the last home results and performances. When you are together and enjoying what we are doing and giving our maximum, we are really strong. It is what we have to do tomorrow again.

“To finish the season well with a good win and, if possible, with a good performance, will be very good for us but, of course, we have to prove that on the pitch tomorrow.”

Burnley FC v Everton FC - Premier League
Glyfi Sigurðsson scored a penalty in Everton’s 5-1 win at Burnley in December
Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

As for Burnley, Sean Dyche’s side secured survival after a run of 28 points from 17 games - bettered only by Liverpool and the two Manchester sides, lifting them from deep in the relegation zone.

They have rediscovered their form since being hammered 5-1 at home to Everton on Boxing Day, but Silva said he is not surprised by their change in fortunes, and is not taking anything for granted going in tomorrow’s game:

“It was not a surprise to me, what they have done. We achieved a very good result on that day, but football matches are always different. We were strong that day, we were clinical, we controlled well some parts of the game where they are really strong.

“This is another game, but that they remained in the Premier League is not a surprise to me. It is always a tough team to play against, and it will be tough again tomorrow. They deserve to remain in the Premier League.”

While André Gomes will serve the final game of his three-match ban tomorrow night, Silva confirmed that Yerry Mina and Theo Walcott, who have struggled with a hamstring problem and illness respectively, are back in contention for tomorrow’s game:

“They [Mina and Walcott] are OK; they are working with the team. They are fit and it depends on my decision for the match.”