Everton FC won’t be daunted by task of ending Manchester City’s unbeaten Etihad stadium run, says Tony Hibbert.
TONY HIBBERT insists Everton will not be daunted by the task of ending Manchester City’s mammoth unbeaten run at the Etihad Stadium.
Roberto Mancini’s side are undefeated in 36 Premier League home matches, dating back almost two years to December 2010.
But the defender, who made his injury comeback during Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal, believes Everton should take plenty of encouragement from being the last side to beat the reigning Champions on home turf in the league.
He said: “The big teams are who you want to play against and the lads look forward to this game every season. The bigger the team the better.
“The character we have shown over the years is really blossoming and we are taking games by the scruff of the neck.
“It’s been like that all season. That’s more or less how we started. Teams are expecting us to play good football and the fans are happy with that.”
Hibbert is pleased to be back in the side as the Blues embark on a sequence of high-profile fixtures – with City, Spurs and Chelsea on the horizon before January.
A groin injury had kept the right-back out of action since the home match against Newcastle in mid-September.
But after impressing against the Gunners, Hibbert now wants to help keep City’s star-studded forward line and Spurs at bay as Everton seek to force themselves back into the top four mix.
“I picked the easy game (to come back),” the 30-year-old quipped. “I have had a long lay-off. The injury was niggling and kept coming back so I eventually got it sorted and I am happy to be back.
“It’s been frustrating and I don’t think any footballer likes to be sat in the stands and watching the team, so it was just good to get back out there.”
Hibbert’s defensive colleague Phil Jagielka was equally upbeat about the signs of recovery against Arsenal.
He said: “Fair credit to the boys – they dug in and we played some decent football,” was the stand-in captain’s assessment.
“We put them under pressure but unfortunately the second goal never came. After the first minute we were value for our point.
“We know we are playing some good football and we mix it up as well. Felli was again a great target man for us and brought a lot of people into play.
“Having Gibbo back with Ossie, we have two great footballers making us tick. Stevie (Pienaar) and Bainesy speak for themselves, so we have got some decent footballers out there.”
As one of the original founder members of the Football League, Everton are a club steeped in history and tradition and have played more seasons in the top flight of English football than any other club. Their association with the greatest cup competition in the world has thus conjured some wonderful moments, and this offering from Sport Media celebrates a century of memories since their first FA Cup success in 1906. Celebrate a century of memories with 'Everton's FA Cup 100'. Read