Everton are capable of qualifying for the Champions League this season and deserved to beat Liverpool, claims Steven Naismith.
Everton sit 7th in the current Premier League table after battling to a 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Goodison Park on Sunday, and the Toffees have not suffered defeat in any competition since losing to Manchester City in August.
Roberto Martinez’s side finished 5th in the Spaniard’s first season at the helm in 2013/14, but an 11th placed finish last campaign represented a huge disappointment for the club as they struggled with Europa League football.
Naismith, Everton’s second top goalscorer this season behind Romelu Lukaku, feels the Toffees are capable of challenging the elite and qualifying for the Champions League this season, however.
“The top four has now probably turned into a big six or seven,” he said. “Spurs are consistently fighting for it, we did it a couple of years ago. We feel we’re good enough to be up at that mark.
“We’re confident against anyone. If we play as we know we can, then we are a match for anyone in the league. We have shown that over the last two or three years.
“Anyone would have looked at our start and thought we were going to be in for a difficult time. But we believe we can beat anyone on our day.
“We had a draw on the opening day against Watford and then another at Swansea, but we have always followed it up with a good result.
“We are consistently doing it. That turns your season into a good start and we are looking forward to what is to come.”
Naismith says Everton were left “frustrated” with their inability to beat a team below them in the league at the weekend.
“I think we were the better team, but we probably didn’t do enough to win the game,” he said.
“For large parts of the game we were in control. We played good football, but the final chance wasn’t there and that’s why we didn’t win. Frustration is the biggest feeling because we were confident going into the game.”