Dean Smith insists the pressure is on Everton to win on the final day of the season after Leicester City’s draw against Newcastle United in the Premier League relegation battle.
Leicester rode their luck but earned gritty goalless stalemate at Newcastle on Monday evening. But it means that the Toffees remain out of the bottom three by two points with just one match to play.
Everton’s survival fate is in their own hands as they prepare to welcome Bournemouth to Goodison Park on Sunday. A win for Sean Dyche’s side will see them secure their top-flight status. However, 18th-placed Leicester have a superior goal difference of +6 and they would likely stay up if they were to beat West Ham and the Blues failed to win against Bournemouth.
Smith, who was appointed interim Foxes manager last month after the sacking of Brendan Rodgers, knows that the clash against West Ham will be difficult - but knows that goal difference could end up proving important.
Speaking after the draw with Newcastle, he said: “We hope we can get to the King Power and fortunes go our way. We’ve made Everton have to win if we win ourselves. That performance (against Newcastle) was what supporters deserved with all the travelling they’ve done this season, and it was a clean sheet they deserved.
“I think we have (put pressure on Everton). If they draw and we win we stay up. I did say it might be down to goal difference.
“We have got a tough game against West Ham who have just qualified for a European final. Their manager is a good friend of mine, David Moyes, he’s someone I have a lot of respect for and he will make it a really tough game for us.”