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HUGHTON'S NOTES

Posted on 14 August 2007  - 12:00

Chris Hughton runs the rule over Everton before tonight's Barclays Premier League encounter at the Lane.

Chris Hughton runs the rule over Everton before tonight's Barclays Premier League encounter at the Lane.

EVERTON have real stability and that's one of the great strengths of the club. They are a good, tough outfit, hard working with good quality in the team with the likes of Phil Neville, Mikael Arteta and Andy Johnson.

If I look at their performances last season, it was very much back to where they were a couple a years ago when they finished fourth and qualified for the Champions League. I think they are quite confident again.

I don't expect many changes from the side that beat Wigan on Saturday with the only player that might come in Phil Jagielka, who they signed from Sheffield United, a versatile player who can play centre-back, full-back or in central midfield.

Having said that, we expect them to stay the same so it will be Tony Hibbert at right-back, Joleon Lescott, Joseph Yobo and Alan Stubbs.

Lescott did ever so well at left-back for them last season and they've kept him there, but with the signing of Leighton Baines, who isn't fit, it will allow them to play Lescott in his more natural position of centre-half. Yobo has done well for them and Stubbs just keeps going, a solid player and a good footballer.

Tim Cahill is a big loss for them in midfield. If I look at the options they've got in the wide areas it's Leon Osman and Arteta, they can vary which way they go and centrally, Lee Carsley and Neville. I know Lee Carsley well through Ireland and he's another reliable player and of course Neville can play in a few positions.

Up front it's Victor Anichebe, big and strong and a good partner for Johnson. James Vaughan is a young lad who has done well but is injured while of course James Beattie has now moved on.

We're back at home and one thing we've always been able to do is bounce back from any disappointments. This group of players will be very determined, especially with how we played at Sunderland on Saturday. Everyone has felt that disappointment and no-one more than the players. They realise if we want to finish where we want to finish we have to pick up the results we have to pick up. We're back at home, a big crowd behind us, we've two games at the Lane and we have to look for maximum points.

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