Everton just as desperate for points as QPR, says Heitinga

The Toffees, chasing European qualification, take on Harry Redknapp's relegation-battling Hoops on Saturday with both sides locked in battles at opposite ends of the table
Everton's John Heitinga has stated that his side will be as hungry for points as QPR when they meet their relegation-threatened opponents on Saturday at Goodison Park.

The Toffees, occupying sixth spot in the Premier League, currently sit four points adrift of the final automatic European spot and are a further two points away from a coveted Champions League place.

The Dutch defender has now made it clear that his team-mates have everything to fight for against Harry Redknapp's relegation-battling Rs, and expects a tough match when the Hoops come to town.

“I think we’ve got the same desperation as QPR," he told the club's official website. "It won’t be an easy match. I remember the game at their place was tough as well.

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“Everyone thinks it’s easy and you’ll win 4-0 but that’s not the way football is at the moment. They will come to defend.

“At White Hart Lane it was Tottenham who made most of the game and on Saturday it’s up to us to make the game.

“We don’t have the biggest squad but if you see our performances over the whole season, they’ve been really good. And with seven games to play we’re still in the hunt. We know we must beat QPR to fight for a European place though.”

Heitinga has experienced a renaissance of late, returning to the starting lineup after struggling for minutes early in the season, and has attributed his resurgence to hard work.

“I’ve been playing for a long time now and in football you can go from hero to zero and back again,” he continued. “At the beginning of the season I was thinking I should start but the manager decided something else and so I was a little bit disappointed.

“Then after that I wasn’t playing my best football so it was easy for the manager to put me on the bench.

“The only thing I could do was work hard. In the end the quality is always there but when you work hard it comes out.”