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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Sylvain Distin says he is warming to his auxiliary role as a left-back.

The Frenchman won further plaudits from manager David Moyes on Tuesday after again excelling in place of the injured Leighton Baines in Everton’s 1-1 draw at Stoke.

A centre-half by trade, it is the best part of a decade since the 34-year-old last had an extended stint in the position and he initially admitted he wanted Baines back at the earliest opportunity.

However, having helped the Blues go unbeaten in three games since switching out wide, Distin says he is finding it more enjoyable than expected.

“To be honest, I do enjoy it, surprisingly,” the former Manchester City and Portsmouth man told evertontv. “I thought it would be really difficult but I feel like I've adapted quite well.

“It's a new job for me. I think the last time I played left-back was something like six or eight years ago. And I was a lot skinnier at the time!

”It's a lot of running but I'm getting used to it. The lads make it easier for me as well and I speak a bit with Bainesy to get some tips from him. But I didn't expect to do as well as him because he's an amazing player. I give my best and that's it.

“Obviously I know I'm not going to go forward as much as Bainesy but, as I say, I'll just do my best.”

Everton took the lead at the Britannia Stadium when the ball sneaked in off the shoulder of Potters striker Peter Crouch on the stroke of half time.

But a deflected strike from substitute Cameron Jerome rescued a point for the hosts with 21 minutes remaining, leaving Distin to rue what might have been.

Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat at home to Fulham means the Blues' advantage over their neighbours in the race for seventh spot has stretched to three points.

Yet, the Frenchman believes the gap could so easily have been greater.

“Right now it doesn't feel like a good point but I guess tomorrow when I wake up it’ll feel like it's a good point,” he said after the match. “Our target is to remain seventh in the league and I think we're doing good. We're on a good run and that's what's most important.

“We knew what would happen here, we knew they'd have a game plan and I think we did quite well to deal with it. They were dangerous on the long throw but we conceded the kind of goal we didn't expect to concede, to be fair.

“If you start to play on their strengths, which means playing long ball, you can’t do it. If you see the size of their squad, it's just nuts. You know if you're going to play long balls, they're going to be favourites. We had to play football. We talked a bit about it before the game and at half time again and tried to play a bit more football (after the break).

“We were playing away from home and we're still having a good run, but we are a bit disappointed because it was the sort of game we expected to win.”

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