Cahill contribution earns plaudits at Everton

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Everton captain Phil Neville has paid tribute to the way midfielder Tim Cahill has led the team through a difficult spell for the club.

The Toffees have leant heavily on the experience of the Australia international, who scored his 50th Everton goal in Saturday's 3-1 win over Carlisle, as injuries have decimated the squad.

And Neville, who against Carlisle started his first game since September after a serious knee injury, is keen for Cahill to get the recognition he deserves - and the support he needs.

"I was so pleased he scored because I've watched so many games while I've been out and Tim's taken the mantle and the pressure for the whole team," said Neville.

"As captain he's led from the front when we were not doing too well, he's always wanted the ball, never missed a training session, led from the front and carried the fight to teams on his own a lot of the time.

"It's about time now that others coming back from injury need to help.

"He needs someone to take a bit of pressure off him and to take responsibility.

"Out of the bad run we had, Tim was the one who showed the spirit and took the fight to whoever we were up against."

Goalkeeper Tim Howard believes the spirit among the squad is typified by their tendency to score late goals, with two against Carlisle coming in the final eight minutes.

"It's been something that's been a huge positive for us," Howard told evertonTV. "It's something we did last year that kicked us on and allowed us to go on a few runs.

"Being resilient and finding a way to win games and stay in games late is a big factor for us."

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Premier League
Tim Cahill
Phil Neville

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