JAY McEveley has no option but to turn his back on his beloved Everton tomorrow.

The 18-year-old left back knows that if he is to be playing European football for Rovers next year, it will be at the cost of the team he has supported all his life.

McEveley said: "You always want the club you support to get into Europe but when the club you play for has a chance of getting in then you have to hope for that even more.

"For once I won't be supporting Everton tomorrow. We have to hope Manchester United can do us a favour while we concentrate on our game, because if we win we should get through. Everton will find it hard to get anything."

McEveley was born in the year that Everton won their only European Trophy, the 1985 Cup Winners Cup, and apart from an all too brief run in the same competition in the 1995-96 season, he's never seen them qualify for Europe.

Even now, the England under-21 international still tries whenever he can to get to Goodison, where he once played in the same youth team as Wayne Rooney.

"I spoke to Wayne in the tunnel when we played Everton, but I speak to the youth and reserve team players all the time," said McEveley, pictured right.

"I know a few of them and make sure I see how the lads are doing when I go down there. It's hard to follow Everton because I'm playing, but I always look out for their score and when we have a spare Saturday or they play in midweek, I'll try to get to Goodison to watch them."

But there will be no such home town loyalty tomorrow for McEveley, who is travelling down to Tottenham with the first team squad.

He added: "Hopefully I can be involved tomorrow and play a part in getting us into Europe."