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Niko's Mersey beat

Niko Kranjcar says he's full of confidence for the trip to Everton on Sunday - but wary of a Toffees team no doubt stung by defeat against Liverpool last weekend.

Niko Kranjcar says he's full of confidence for the trip to Everton on Sunday - but wary of a Toffees team no doubt stung by defeat against Liverpool last weekend.

We prepare for the trip to Goodison Park sitting in third place in the Barclays Premier League and determined to move on from Tuesday's disappointing defeat against Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup.

Everton, who beat AEK Athens in Europa Cup action on Wednesday, will also have a point to prove after a somewhat harsh defeat on home soil in the Merseyside derby on Sunday when their efforts deserved more than a 2-0 reverse to their city rivals.

Our league form has been fine though and we travel to Goodison on the back of home wins against Sunderland and Wigan and an impressive performance in the 1-1 draw at Villa last Saturday.

You sense that Niko, in eye-catching form of late but cup-tied for Old Trafford, can hardly wait to get back out there.

"I'm full of confidence that we have the players, the team and the form to go there and beat Everton," he said.

"They are having a tough time at the moment in the league but that won't help us because they will do everything to try and win the game.

"We know they will be hurt by losing to Liverpool and we know exactly what to expect when we go to Goodison Park. We have to focus and rely on our capabilities and qualities to go there and show we're a better team.

"As I said, I'm so confident in the team and the players around me and the form we're in that we can go up there and go for the three points."

Niko admitted it was frustrating to have to sit and watch our Carling Cup exit - he was cup-tied having played for Portsmouth in the second round of the competition.

"I was cheering the lads on and hoping they got through but it didn't happen. We opened the game well but conceded the goal against the run of play and the second goal killed us off. It's a result no-one is happy about but we now have to focus on the next game."