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The Merseyside outfit sit one point adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal with three games remaining, with the squad a keen to secure European qualification for the first time since 2009

The prospect of Champions League qualification is motivating Everton to finish the season strongly, says midfielder James McCarthy.

A run of eight wins from their last nine Premier League games has put Roberto Martinez's team in a strong position to play in continental competition for the first time since 2009-10.

Everton's 2-0 victory over Manchester United kept the club on course for European qualification - sitting one point behind fourth-placed Arsenal - and McCarthy is determined to secure a strong finish to the season.

"It [reaching Europe] is a big incentive and we'll give it our best shot," the Republic of Ireland international told the club's official website.

"We want to get three points on the board and keep up the pressure on Arsenal. We want to try to get European football back at Goodison.

"I think there's still plenty of twists and turns to come and you never know. We'll look after ourselves and see what it brings at the end of the season."

McCarthy has made 31 Premier League appearances for Everton in his debut season with the club after following manager Martinez from Wigan last year.

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