Martinez won't give up on top-four spot
Roberto Martinez believes Everton will overhaul Arsenal into the race to qualify for the Champions League if they win their last three matches.
Martinez's fifth-placed team trail fourth-placed Arsenal by a point after their bid to finish in the top four fell out of their own hands with last week's 3-2 defeat at Crystal Palace.
A 2-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday in the following match revived Everton's belief that they can still qualify for Europe's elite club competition.
Now Everton head to Southampton on Saturday before hosting Manchester City and then finishing the Premier League season at Hull.
The Gunners end their campaign with matches against Newcastle, West Brom and Norwich, making them favourites to win the qualification battle.
But Martinez remains confident three more victories will be enough to overtake Arsene Wenger's team.
"Looking at the last 15 years or so, fourth place is well below 76 points," Martinez said.
"There has only been one season where you have needed 76 points for that (fourth) and on average it's always been a lot less points.
"You don't go far wrong when you look at the points tally. We are well aware anything around 72 to 75 points is Champions League football so we are desperate to try to make sure we get that.
"It doesn't matter who you are playing against or who you are fighting against to get into that fourth spot it's always the points tally that matters.
- Unique opportunity -
"I will go as far to say if you get nine points and you don't get into the Champions League, you can be proud and very happy any way.
"That's the target we are giving ourselves -- how many points we can get from now until the end of the season.
"We have to make sure that we are fresh, we have recovered and look at every game as a unique opportunity to show what we can do."
However, Martinez's hopes for a Champions League spot are in danger of being hampered by Everton's lengthy injury list.
Belgium winger Kevin Mirallas has been ruled out for the season with a groin problem sustained in the 2-0 win over Manchester United, while defender Sylvain Distin is out of the trip to Southampton with a hamstring injury sustained in the same match.
Captain Phil Jagielka is still sidelined, along with Bryan Oviedo, Darron Gibson, Steven Pienaar, Lacina Traore and Arouna Kone.
Southampton have little to play for except to hold on to eighth place, which would equal their previous best Premier League finish, achieved in 2003 when Gordon Strachan was the manager.
However, a number of players have a great deal more on their personal horizons as Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Luke Shaw are all keen to be included in the England World Cup squad as soon as the season is concluded.
Shaw, the 18-year-old left-back, is also set to be the subject of attempts by bigger clubs to tempt him away from the south coast, with Manchester United said to be in pole position over a �30 million move.
Head coach Mauricio Pochettino has also had to deal with speculation about his future as it has been suggested that Tottenham would be keen to employ him once they dispense with the services of Tim Sherwood.
Pochettino could be persuaded to stay should significant transfer funds be made available to him in the summer, with the former Argentina defender making it clear how difficult it is to work with one of the smaller squads in the Premier League.
"It's clear, as I said throughout the entire season, that we have a small squad," he said.
"We don't have a lot of players and it's also true that, towards the end of the season, we're suffering many injuries."