Marouane Fellaini admits he was not fully fit in Merseyside derby - but hopes to be back at his best against Fulham on Saturday.
MAROUANE FELLAINI admits he was not fully fit in the Merseyside derby – but hopes to be at his best in time to help Everton end their frustrating run of draws on Saturday.
The Blues have drawn their last three Premier League games, and the Belgian midfielder was absent for their previous share of the spoils against QPR at Loftus Road.
Fellaini, 24, was allowed to recover from at home in Belgium a knee injury suffered during the draw with Wigan on October 6, and is glad to be back in action ahead of the weekend’s trip to Craven Cottage.
He said: “I worked hard for two weeks to get back for the derby. I stayed in Belgium for one week’s recovery. I’m not 100 per cent but I gave my maximum today.
“It’s important to win the next game. Everybody wants to win when we go to Fulham.”
The former Standard Liege man said he had mixed feelings over the Blues performance against Liverpool during Sunday’s derby.
“I am happy because we started badly, but we came back and it was a good point in the end,” he said.
“Both teams wanted to win the derby so we are unhappy not to.
“At 2-0 I thought it was finished because it’s hard to come back. But our team has good mentality and good supporters to help us. We could have won or lost.”
Both Fellaini and skipper Phil Neville are now be walking a disciplinary tightrope until the New Year.
Neville was shown a yellow card on the stroke of half-time against Liverpool for an apparent dive – a transgression for which he later made a public apology.
The booking means he joins Marouane Fellaini in being one caution away from a one-match suspension.
Both players could avoid a ban by surviving until the season’s first yellow card amnesty without a further caution.
The amnesty is on Monday, December 31, meaning the pair would need to maintain a clean disciplinary record beyond the visit of Chelsea on Sunday December 30.
“It [diving] was an absolutely stupid thing to have done,” said Neville after the game. “I don’t find myself at that end of the pitch very often.
“I thought Daniel Agger was going to come in behind me and I got a good kick up the backside at half-time and rightly so.
“I put myself under pressure with the yellow card and I couldn’t really make the tackles in the second half.”
Prior to Sunday’s 2-2 draw, Neville saw yellow in games against West Brom, Newcastle and Wigan, while Fellaini accumulated his four bookings against West Brom, Newcastle, Leeds and Wigan.
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