Tim Cahill has been hailed as the "warrior" who has driven Everton to the FA Cup final.

The Australian midfielder, who has averaged a goal every three games in his Everton career, is the player who has inspired his colleagues most according to goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Howard said: "So many players have gone beyond their boundaries in terms of performance. People like Tim Cahill."

Howard, Everton's only ever-present performer this season, has been quite inspirational himself with a new club Premier League record of 16 clean sheets in a season.

But Howard, who may even find himself rested to allow reserve Carlo Nash to make his debut ahead of the FA Cup final, has high praise for Cahill.

The 29-year-old has figured in attack and midfield this season due to the club's injury crisis and is joint top scorer.

Howard added: "We all accept he is a real warrior for the team, he wants the ball and his game has gone onto another level.

"He is unselfish and always works hard for the team. He has been asked to play up front, midfield, anywhere in fact.

"But he has always turned in good performances, gives everything for the team and his reward will be a cup final appearance."

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