TIM CAHILL looked saddened when the matter was raised.
Not only was the Australian hurting after defeat to Liverpool on Saturday but he too felt pain for his friend.
Sylvain Distin offered apologies to the Everton supporters at Wembley after his error handed Luis Suarez the opportunity to equalise their FA Cup semi-final tie.
Cahill had seen the Frenchman’s act of contrition at the final whistle but was unwilling to accept the centre-half had anything to feel remorseful about.
Cahill did not like the idea of Distin feeling guilty about a mistake which was out of character and is ready to defend his team-mate from any criticism.
“He shouldn’t apologise,” said Cahill.
“He has been our player of the season, he has been immense and one mistake doesn’t sum up the season or paint a proper picture.
“We should have still been out there playing extra-time because we should have stopped the second goal.
“We should not have given away the free-kick and defended it better.
“Over the season Sylvain has been an exceptional player and should not be apologising.”
Cahill appeared upset that Distin wou-ld feel it nec-essary to shoulder the blame and carry the can.
The burden of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat is the team’s to hold, says the 31-year-old.
Mistakes were collective and the blame is shared.
Cahill says that is part of the buying into what Everton are about.
“It was there for everyone to see,” said Cahill on what went wrong in the second half.
“We made two mistakes and got punished.
“It happens but the main thing, and the one special thing about this team and this group of players, is that we win together and lose together.
“We all leave that dressing room with our head held up high and the manager always managed to take us to the next level and he’s evolving us.
“Every year he tries to find an extra ounce out of every player and himself to create special things at this football club.
“I’m very proud but the thing that I’m really sad about is the supporters.
“You could feel and touch the next stage but it wasn’t meant to be but it happens in football.”
Cahill was forthright in his opinion about Liverpool’s prospects for the final next month.
Even before Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur had battled in the second, and highly controversial, semi-final of the weekend at Wembley, the Everton talisman felt the Reds were going to struggle.
For most Evertonians, the 2012 semi-final was given away to Liverpool, rather than them having to earn a place in the final on May 5.
Cahill thinks along similar lines.
“They scored the two goals and did enough to beat us,” he said.
“But they will find it difficult to win the final.
“I didn’t seem to feel as though they caused us lots of problems.
“We pretty much handed the game over but as a team we win together and lose together but proud that we have got this far.
“They seemed to have the luck on their side when it comes to playing against Everton and they get the rub of the green.
“A few decisions didn’t go our way today, it happens, but a lot of respect to Kenny and his boys. If they win then fair play to them.”
A trip to league leaders Manchester United is hardly what Everton’s wounded players would have picked if they had the choice for a first game post-Wembley.
But Cahill insists getting back to competitive action is going to be the best remedy for their woes.
“We will pick ourselves up because they are a special group of players,” he added.
“They play for the badge and what this club stands for, which is passion and commitment.
“We’ve lost today to a good footballing team but we’ve had an amazing experience.
“We’ll be up and at them in midweek at training and looking forward to the next game because as footballers that’s the best thing for us. The next game can’t come quick enough.”