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Neville writes off top four hopes for Everton

Everton captain Phil Neville believes a top four finish is unlikely this season.

With Manchester City, Liverpool and Aston Villa also ahead of them in the chase, Neville accepts it is asking too much of his team.

"If you had asked me after we beat United on Saturday, before I had seen the table, I would have said that fourth or fifth place was still within our grasp," said Neville.

"But we still have a mountain to climb to close the gap on Tottenham.

"Even the gap between ourselves and Villa is seven points. That's three games. When you get to this stage of the season the clock is ticking and you can't beat the clock.

"I just hope we don't run out of time. We have to look at our run-in now and to finish in fifth or fourth means we are going to have to win nine of our 12 remaining games - that's the kind of mountain we are going to have to climb.

"Sunday is a massive game. People will have watched our games against Chelsea and Manchester United and seen that we can beat the best.

"You hope that you always get one team that comes up on the rails, but points on the board in my experience are always better than points not on the board."

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