Neville eyes European return
Updated Thursday, 7th July 2011
Everton captain Phil Neville is targeting a return to Europe for the club this season.
Despite a number of difficulties early on in the last campaign the Toffees finished seventh, eight points adrift of Tottenham who claimed the final Europa League spot. With the squad now in full training at their pre-season camp in Austria, Neville has renewed optimism about getting back into continental competition.
"We finished seventh last term when everyone thought we were average," the captain said in a webchat on evertonfc.com. "My aim this season is to get Everton back into Europe."
Asked about what winning a trophy - the club's last was the 1995 FA Cup - would mean to him, the former Manchester United player added: "It would be right up there with the best things I have ever achieved."
And the 34-year-old has given himself another three years to achieve that goal.
"I am fully focused on my playing career. I want to play for two to three seasons yet," he said. "I feel as fit as ever and more importantly I am enjoying my football more than ever."
Striker Louis Saha, who has more than his fair share of injury problems during his Everton career, is also feeling positive about the new campaign. The Frenchman missed the final two months with an ankle injury and is still about 10 days away from undertaking full training.
"I am feeling really good and it is nice to be back with the boys and we are all smiling and working very hard," he told evertontv. "I was up walking during the summer and now I am able to go out and train with the team.
"I am not doing the full training with the boys just yet but I think I should be able to in about 10 days. That will be really good as my injury was quite a serious one.
"It is perfect coming back from an injury at this time because you can get the same workout as the rest of the boys. That is what gives you the strength and fitness you need to sustain your level in the season."