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Friday 16 March 2012

Howard wants positive response

Goalkeeper wants Everton to return to winning ways for manager David Moyes

Tim Howard and Everton had a disappointing match against Liverpool on Tuesday

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard says he wants his team to return to winning ways for manager David Moyes.

The Toffees boss marked a decade in charge at Goodison Park this week - but a 3-0 defeat to Merseyside rivals Liverpool dampened the celebrations.

However, Everton have an FA Cup quarter-final against Barclays Premier League rivals Sunderland on Saturday - and are still eyeing a top 10 finish after showing good form prior to Tuesday's match at Anfield.

"There is definitely no problem with the character in the squad"
- Tim Howard

"It [Anfield] is never a nice place to lose, but with the anniversary and everything, it’s even more so. Ten years is a lot of results, a lot of highs and lows," he said.

"We had gone into the game on the back of a really good run, but unfortunately it didn't end in the storybook way we all hoped.

"But this is a good team, this is a good bunch of boys, and there is definitely no problem with the character in the squad.

"We will be up for the fight at the weekend, and it would be fantastic to get a good result to give everyone a lift after what has been a long week. It won't be for the lack of trying.

"Losing derbies always hurts, but we are professionals, we want to see it out, so we will get back to work and hopefully get a result."

Wembley prospect

Howard said the prospect of reaching the FA Cup semi-final - and securing a trip to Wembley - would help the players forget their midweek disappointment.

He added: "I don't think the FA Cup game has any more importance because of losing the derby - the chance of going to Wembley is enough to lift everyone's spirits.

"We all want a place in the semi-final. We will keep going, because the confidence is certainly still there. That's because of the way we were playing before Anfield.

"We still feel our form is good and we will count that defeat as just a blip, push on and hopefully get a good result at the weekend, which will really help to put this behind us."

After Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final Everton face a challenging match in the Barclays Premier League on Wednesday against in-form Arsenal at Goodison Park.

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Key Points

  • Tim Howard urges team-mates to put Liverpool defeat behind them
  • Wants side to return to winning ways for manager David Moyes
  • Everton face Sunderland in the FA Cup, then Arsenal in Barclays Premier League