SYLVAIN DISTIN believes a week of boot-camp style punishment from David Moyes helped the Toffees get in shape to nearly snatch a shock win at Chelsea.
The French defender, (pictured) who is enjoying a fine spell of form, helped Everton to a point at Stamford Bridge, in a game that they could have won against the champions.
But Distin admits the Blues were made to suffer in the wake of their 4-1 embarrassment at home by West Brom, and used the motivation to nearly spring a surprise against Carlo Ancelotti’s side.
Describing how manager David Moyes went about forcing his side to get tough once again, he said: “Usually training is hard. I keep repeating myself since I came here, it is tough. But this week has been one of the toughest weeks.
“On Monday we didn’t touch a ball, we did some proper, pre-season style running, and then Tuesday the game was really intense with a lot of contact and not many fouls.
“I think he wanted to make sure we got back in the Everton mode where you are hard, and tough to beat. It worked but I hope this week won’t be the same.”
Distin added: “The first half we were defending a lot but we did well. We held out only for a mistake, but generally we did well under pressure.
“Second half we played much better and kept the tempo really high. As they got tired, we got on top of them and that’s why we work so hard in training, to make sure we keep a high tempo for all the game.”
Meanwhile, Phil Neville thanked his team-mates for helping him atone for the misjudged back pass which caused Everton to concede.
He said: “When you make a mistake like I did you look to your teammates to dig you out of it and they really did that. It was our best performance for a number of weeks.
“We showed the qualities and character that the manager asked for. The spirit and togetherness that was missing against West Brom was here in abundance today and in the end we were the team that probably deserved to win the game.”
Leighton Baines deservedly took the plaudits for a top-class performance and his fantastic work in the build-up to Everton’s equalising goal.
And Neville said: “Leighton has been our best player this season by a country mile.
“He is really consistent and it is only a matter of time until he gets his recognition.”