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ABEL XAVIER has revealed that Everton`s number one priority is to secure their Premiership status.

The Portuguese defender, who has been out with injury since February, made his return in the 3-0 defeat by Manchester United and is looking to earn a place in next year`s World Cup squad.

Xavier, who also figured in the midweek Worthington Cup defeat by Crystal Palace, said: "It was a normal return. It is always best to come back and gain your place quickly.

"I am pleased that I am able to help Everton once again."

Everton are currently fifth in the table, but Xavier is not getting carried away, saying: "We are under no illusions, our aim is to secure our place in the Premier League.

"It is difficult to compete when you are lacking money, but we have a balanced team and I feel we have the capabilities to have a better finish than last season."

Xavier highlighted his personal his aims, saying: "I want to start playing regular with my team, then I will start thinking about the national team.

"I think I am part of the group of players who are important to the coach. I am a versatile player and I feel I have the quality to get my place back."

Meanwhile, Danny Cadamarteri has been fined £2000 and ordered to pay £4000 costs following an appearance at Liverpool Crown Court.

The Toffees striker was found guilty of assaulting a woman outside a nightclub, and the player will find out on Monday what action the club will take.

Everton spokesman Ian Ross said on the club`s official website: "The club's board of directors and manager will discuss the matter over the weekend."