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Crystal Palace (A) Sat 31 Jan 2015, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

The Man For The Big Occasion

by Andy Lewis @efc_andylewis

Phil Jagielka has praised the departing Tim Cahill’s big-game impact – not least against fierce rivals Liverpool.

The Aussie this week brought his eight years at Goodison Park to an end by signing a three-and-a-half year deal to play in the United States with the New York Red Bulls.

Cahill’s fabled goalscoring ability has long been appreciated by Evertonians, and particularly fondly by his teammates.

And as Jagielka told evertontv – he often saved his best for when it really mattered.

“He came up with big performances in the most important games,” said the England defender, who was back in training this week after an extended post-Euros break.

“He’s got the best record since the war in the derbies and I think Liverpool will be glad to see the back of him.

“Hopefully we’ll have someone else to step up to the plate. We will miss him on and off the pitch.

“He was a quite close friend of mine, we spent a bit of time off the pitch doing stuff, but I’m sure we will see him again anyway.

“He’ll definitely be missed. He’s been around here eight years and had some fantastic moments for the Club.

“You look back at the video clip of his goals, and while you might forget some of them, it really brings a smile to your face to watch them again.

“He put his heart and soul into the Club and he’s now got a fantastic move to the MLS and a great team in the Red Bulls. Along with his wife and kids it should be a nice place to live.”

Jagielka was joined back at Finch Farm this week by Leighton Baines, who spent the summer alongside him with the England squad in Poland and Ukraine.

Baines added his own tribute, highlighting Cahill’s wholehearted commitment and the special bond he enjoyed with the Everton fans.

“He’s going to go down as a bit of a legend really and rightly so,” said the Blues left back.

“He’s been a great servant to the Club and had some massive moments over the years.

“Not only that but I think the fans took to him because he’d give you everything he’d got when you were on the pitch.

“So it’s sad to see Tim go but I think he can count on everyone’s best wishes.

“I’m sure he’s going to enjoy it out there. It’s great for him, a new adventure for Tim and his family and I’m sure it will be something he’ll relish.”

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