Tim Howard has spoken of his special bond with Everton as he prepares to return to business in the Europa League.
The former Manchester United goalkeeper, and the USA's number one, is content with life at Goodison Park ahead of the home match against Benfica tonight.
"I am exactly where I want to be in my career. I am at a stage where I envisaged I would be as a goalkeeper," he said. "That doesn't mean there won't be tough days but we all have problems to bear. That is all part of it. You have to take the bumps and the bruises."
He added: "This is my fourth season and I really feel embedded in the fabric of the club."
The days and nights do not come much tougher than the first game in Lisbon when Benfica triumphed 5-0 in Group I.
Howard said: "I was disappointed and hurt as we all have a lot of pride in the job.
"We want to get back on track and get through this group. It is important for us as we got beaten up pretty badly in Portugal.
"It is not going to be easy but hopefully we can take a step in the right direction when we have the rematch.
"Our foundation is built on hard work and team spirit. It is not sexy football. That is not to say we do not play good football but this aspect only comes after we have dug in. There is no lack of effort on our part."
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