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Everton FC need you more than ever, Distin tells the returning Gibson

SYLVAIN Distin has hailed the imminent return of midfielder Darron Gibson – as he insisted the Blues need him more than ever.

SYLVAIN Distin has hailed the imminent return of midfielder Darron Gibson – as he insisted the Blues need him more than ever.

The Republic of Ireland international is in contention to make his first-team comeback for Everton against Norwich at Goodison Park on Saturday.

And Distin admits he is relieved at the prospect of having the 25-year-old back, especially in the absence of skipper Phil Neville – who is expected to be out for up to two months after undergoing knee surgery last week.

Distin played alongside Gibson – who has missed the last eight games with a thigh problem – as he came through a 63-minute run-out in Sunday’s Under-21 game against Reading and was impressed by his team-mate’s sharpness.

“He hasn’t played for a while now, nearly three months, so he did well,” he said. “His passing seems to be sharp so I think he’s doing good.

“I think we’ve missed him. He’s really important in our squad and we don’t have a big squad, so obviously if we can get a player back that will be beneficial.

“Phil is really important for the squad as well, his spirit and his mentality – he’s a real leader and we’re definitely going to miss him.

“But there’s no point crying about it. That’s football, it’s the way it is and we’re going to have to do without him.”

Now Distin is calling on his Everton team-mates to provide extra leadership while their 35-year-old captain is sidelined.

David Moyes admitted his side missed Neville during their 2-1 defeat by Reading on Saturday, and his injury setback coincides with a tough run of forthcoming fixtures against Norwich, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham.

But Distin believes it is crucial that others shoulder the extra responsibility. He said: “It’s for us now to find a solution on the pitch. If one leader is missing maybe each player has to be a leader on their own and try to fill the gap. We can’t use it as an excuse.

“It’s a shame but it’s part of football – you’re always going to have injuries.”

 

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