'I thought I'd played my last game' - Hitzlsperger's relief at new Everton deal

The 30-year-old midfielder has extended his stay at Goodison Park after impressing David Moyes, and is eyeing Champions League qualification as an end-of-season prize

Thomas Hitzlsperger has expressed his delight after penning an extension to his Everton stay, and is now hoping to assist the Toffees’ charge for a Champions League qualification spot.

The 30-year-old joined the club on a short-term deal at the end of October, but will now stay at Goodison Park until the end of the season after impressing boss David Moyes in his six Premier League appearances.

Hitzlsperger believed he had played his last game following his release from Wolfsburg in the summer but, now he has found a route back into football, is determined to succeed.

"When I was out in the summer I thought maybe I'd played my last game already," he told the club’s official website.

"Now I'm back at a very, very good level in the Premier League, playing for a huge club and it's so enjoyable.

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"I'm delighted to be here until the end of the season and I've always said it since I've been here, I've really enjoyed my time playing amongst these players and playing for this Club.

"It has been hugely enjoyable, we've been successful and hopefully at the end of the season we're up there in the top four playing for the Champions League."

Hitzlsperger is also relieved to have until the end of the season to prove himself at Goodison Park and potentially extend his stay beyond the summer.

He continued: "I tried to be positive and I was most of the time. Fortunately that period is over now, it's behind me and I'm just looking forward to the next few weeks and months.

"Looking back to where I came from, I was out injured for a long time so I couldn't really expect too much. I spoke to the manager a few weeks ago and he told me he's pleased with my efforts."

The German went on to hail the quality amongst the club's squad, adding: "There's so many good footballers in this team and the work ethic is tremendous, so I think we're well equipped.

"It would be a tremendous achievement if we get into the top four. I think we have it in us, we've proved that this season."