Football - 17 is the magic number for Martinez

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has set his side the target of taking 17 points from their remaining nine matches to see if they can qualify for the Champions League.

PA Sport Report

A 3-2 victory over Swansea - an eighth successive league win at Goodison Park - lifted the Toffees into fifth place and eight points behind Arsenal, in fourth, with a match in hand.

Although Martinez is happy with his side's tally of 54 points from 29 games he believes his side will have to maintain that average of 1.8 points per game to stand a chance of breaking into the Champions League places - and then they are still relying on one of the teams above them slipping up.

The fact they have yet to face Manchester City and Arsenal, two top-four incumbents, at home is in their favour and the Everton manager has urged his players to set their sights high.

"The points tally is what excites me. Nine games to go and 54 points - that is a very good return," said the Spaniard.

"This year's competition is as strong as it has been and to get to Europe you will need the highest points tally for a few years, so we need to be perfect and look at ourselves.

"The Europa League is not our aim, our aim is to get as many points as we can.

"Champions League football will be around 71 points - that is our target."

Everton made hard work of dispensing with a Swansea side who have failed to beat the Toffees in 20 meetings now.

Leighton Baines put the hosts ahead from the penalty spot, only for Wilfried Bony to equalise in the first half.

However, the spell immediately after the interval saw Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley restore the lead and Ashley Williams' injury-time header came too late to change anything.

"I am very pleased. We faced a really difficult test in Swansea and to get the all-important three points is a fantastic feeling," he added.

"We started really well the first 25 minutes then Swansea deserved the equaliser.

"We deserved the two-goal lead but at that point we sat back a little bit too much, trying to use the counter-attack - but overall I was very pleased with the maturity we had."

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