Everton Vs Fulham, Sun 25 Apr 2010

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David Moyes believes Tim Cahill has become part of Everton folklore with the midfielder set to make his 200th start for the club on Sunday.

Cahill, 30, is in a good run of form as well going into the home Barclays Premier League fixture with Fulham, having scored the winner against Blackburn last weekend.

Snapped up in the summer of 2004 from Millwall, the Australia international has turned out to be one of Moyes' best buys.

Moyes said: "I go to quite a lot of dinners and see the real legends of Everton. I see Peter Reid, Trevor Steven, Neville (Southall), Sharpy (Graeme Sharp) and Andy Gray.

"They are people who can rightly have that title. But if we are talking about this period and this decade Tim Cahill would come into that category."

Moyes vividly recalls the day he decided to try to bring Cahill to Merseyside from Millwall after taking in a game at the partisan south-east London club.

"I remember the game well. It was in the play-offs and our car was getting battered by supporters," said the Everton boss.

"I knew a bit about Tim from my time as Preston manager. People looked but nobody really took a punt.

"We did and it has proved to be really good business for us. Tim's been an excellent player. He's gone with us and got better.

"You try and give boys opportunities. Everyone needs an opportunity in life. I was given an opportunity as a manager and you try and take it.

"For every signing a manager makes there will be one or two that won't work. That's the football world we are in.

"We do our homework and try to recruit the best we can. We look in the lower leagues as well."

Clint Dempsey has declared Fulham's season a success no matter what happens over the coming week.

After their marathon trip to Hamburg, Fulham could hardly be blamed for looking slightly further ahead to Thursday's semi-final second leg with, arguably the biggest game in the club's history.

After a 0-0 draw in the first leg Fulham are fancied to progress to May's final, but even if they do not, having come so far in a competition they began back in July and with mid-table security already established in the Premier League, Dempsey feels his team-mates will deserve a pat on the back.

"No matter what happens now we have already had a good season," said the United States international.

"I am not surprised at how well we are doing. We work hard and when you put in work like that it shows."

Danny Murphy has already gone public with Fulham's plan to rest key players at Goodison Park to try to keep some freshness in the team ahead of their date with destiny.

If past history is any guide, Nicky Shorey and Manchester United-bound Chris Smalling will both be involved against the Toffees, along with Stefano Okaka.

Fulham have never won at Everton in the league, a record which looks unlikely to be broken in the circumstances.

What Hodgson will be looking is some goals after going three matches without finding the net, even if the Fulham boss is not so concerned.

"They have not been easy games," he said. "We had a goalless draw at Liverpool, which most people would regard as a positive result, and drawing in Hamburg was pretty creditable as well.

"It was disappointing not to score against Wolves last weekend but maybe our minds were already on the Hamburg game.

"I am not too concerned because we have goals in the team."

Hodgson can only hope that by making changes for such a tough game he is injecting his side with a group of players with something to prove.

Even for a manager of his capabilities though, it seems a pretty hard job given the proximity of the two games and what is at stake.

"We are so close to making the final and you don't get many opportunities to do that," said Dempsey. "It would be great for Fulham but it would also be great for the players who are putting in the work every week.

"We have come this far. We will be doing everything we can to make sure we are there."

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