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After bouncing back from defeat to Wigan in the FA Cup, the Toffees defender insists his side can finish the season in the European places if they play to their potential

Everton defender John Heitinga believes his side can finish the season strongly and qualify for Europe.

After a superb 2-0 victory over Manchester City, the Toffees currently lie in sixth place in the Premier League, two points behind Arsenal, with nine league games remaining.

Everton suffered a shock 3-0 defeat at home to lowly Wigan in the FA Cup quarter-finals, but Heitinga is confident that the squad has the ability to finish in the European places come May 19.

"The way I see it now is that we have to play nine finals," Heitinga told the Liverpool Echo. "Before [the Man City game], I told myself we had ten 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."

Heitinga went on to admit how disappointing the FA Cup defeat to Wigan was for the squad.

"Everybody was frustrated after the game," he said. "Normally you don't bring defeats home with you, but it stayed a little bit longer than normal last week."

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