SYLVAIN DISTIN believes his pace can continue to be a major asset to Everton’s defence as he shrugged off the disappointment of losing his record of playing every minute of every game this season.
The experienced French defender had been an ever-present until he was forced off with cramp against Aston Villa at Goodison last weekend.
Distin, 32, had hoped to play every minute of Everton’s campaign, but despite his fine form he is not getting too excited about his performances in a blue shirt this season.
He said: “I was disappointed to come off of course. It wouldn’t have been the first time I’ve played every minute of every game all season in the Premier League though, but I was really hoping to do it with Everton.
“That’s me – I like to play and I like to keep fit. I rarely miss a training session and I hate missing games. I want to play as much as possible.
“But against Villa I felt the cramp and I didn’t want to risk the team being caught out by a long ball because I couldn’t run properly.”
Distin, who is likely to be a contender for the club’s player of the season, recognises that his speed has helped him cement his place in the Toffee’s back four.
“I’m a fast player and I play on it, sometimes people just notice it more. I feel good, that’s what’s important,” said the centre half who out-paced a man 11 years his junior in Kyle Walker against Villa.
“I don’t know if it’s the best form of my career in the Premier League. It’s not important, it’s about the team and I enjoy playing in it and working hard.”
Meanwhile, reserves coach Alan Stubbs is hoping there is more to come from young attacker Conor McAleny after he scored his third goal in as many games for the second string in their 2-1 defeat to Wigan.
McAleny, 18, was also on the bench for Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Gerard Houllier’s team alongside fellow Academy players Aristote Nsiala and Adam Forshaw.
Stubbs said: “He was obviously on the bench because of injuries but he’s done well for us and he’s scored a few goals and it was a reason why he is there.
“He’s got a long way to go, he took his goal really well but needs to work on the his all-round game.”
Stubbs wants his side to learn from the first team experiences they were afforded during their bench duty at the weekend.
“Hopefully it will give them a lot,” he said.
“The fact that they are in and around the first team tells you more about the injury situation than anything else.”