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EVERTON will show their solidarity for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster and their families by paying their own tribute at tonight's game with Newcastle.
Two mascots, one wearing a Liverpool kit and one an Everton kit, will lead out the teams at Goodison Park.
Both mascots will have ‘96' on the back of their shirts in a show of support to the fans who died at the tragedy in 1989.
In addition, all the ball boys and girls will have ‘96' on their backs and there will also be a video montage on the giant screens at Goodison. Everton were playing in their own FA Cup semi-final 23 years ago when the disaster happened at the game between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest and have shown steadfast support ever since.
Ex-striker Graeme Sharp helped to read out the names of the 96 fans at a vigil last week.
That came after the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report revealed the negligence of authorities at the match and the subsequent attempts by South Yorkshire Police to cover up their mistakes with an orchestrated smear campaign against Liverpool fans.
LEON OSMAN is hoping a starring role for Everton will finally earn him an England call-up.
Osman, 31, who has made more than 250 Premier League appearances, accepts his age now counts against him, having seen Roy Hodgson bring in Liverpool's 17-year-old Raheem Sterling last week.
Everton host Newcastle tonight and Osman said: "I wouldn't say I have accepted getting called up for England is going to elude me.
"As you start to get 30-plus, the chances start to diminish, but, as an English lad, you still keep going for your club and if it ever happens that would be great."
Everton will pay tribute to the Hillsborough victims and their families tonight. Mascots wearing the kits of the Merseyside clubs, with 96 on the back, will lead the teams out.
The ball boys and girls will have ‘96' on their backs, too, and there will also be a giant video tribute.
The Toffees have given a trial to former Celtic and Fiorentina goalkeeper Artur Boruc.
Everton midfielder Leon Osman is determined to issue a reminder to England manager Roy Hodgson that he does not always need to look to youth to solve a national emergency.
As Hodgson dealt with an injury crisis during the recent World Cup qualifiers, he decided to look to the future with teenagers such as Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling, Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jake Livermore and Adam Lallana of Southampton.
Osman is a something of a forgotten man, despite his distinguished service with over 250 appearances at Goodison.
A victory over Newcastle United at Goodison on Monday night would consolidate an encouraging start to the season and enable Osman to show Hodgson he has not given up on playing for his country.
"I wouldn't say I have accepted getting called up for England is going to elude me just as I wouldn't say I was disappointed that a young lad got called up," said Osman.
"It is what it is. I am an Everton player and try and give my best for them and if I was to ever get called up then that would be great.
"As you start to get 30-plus the chances start to diminish but as an English lad you still keep going for your club and if it ever happens that would be great. If it doesn't, I am not going to get too disappointed."
Everton believe they have an opportunity to finish in the top four this season, with Osman arguing this is the best side he has played for under David Moyes.
"I would say so," he said. "I think at first we were a hard working team that gave everything we had and the manager got the best out of what we were capable of at the time, but we have slowly progressed and got a better quality player in. There is always the next step which you have to take, you never want to stand still."
Everton are considering a surprise move for Artur Boruc as David Moyes looks to bolster his squad by exploiting the free-agent market.
Moyes, who is short of numbers in midfield, is also mulling over a move for former Aston Villa and West Ham man Thomas Hitzlsperger but he needs an experienced goalkeeper to provide back-up for Tim Howard.
Boruc, who is without a club after leaving Fiorentina, had a trial at Everton's Finch Farm training ground on Sunday.
The Poland international, 32, spent five seasons with Celtic before moving to Italy in 2010.
Everton face Newcastle at Goodison Park on Monday night and there will be an added spice to the encounter, given the comments Newcastle boss Alan Pardew made at the end of last season, when he claimed his club were ‘in a different league' to Everton.
Although Moyes has taken a diplomatic stance whenever he has been asked about the declaration, long-serving midfielder Leon Osman is determined to ensure Pardew leaves Merseyside feeling the same as he did in May after Everton beat Newcastle 3-1.
‘It is his right to say what he thinks,' said Osman. ‘As players, we try not to get wrapped up in any war of words that happen off the pitch. We just get on with the game.
‘It was the game ahead of ours (when Pardew made his comments) and we won. It has come around again and hopefully we can put in the same performance and result. This is the best squad we have had in my time here.'
Osman's team-mate, Phil Jagielka, also suggested last week that Pardew had been disrespectful with his comments, especially after one good Newcastle season.
‘Fair play, Newcastle had a fantastic season and massively overachieved,' Jagielka said. ‘In the Premier League, it's all about consistency and if you look at how we have performed over the years, then it's a little bit disrespectful to come out and say something like that.'
It is a charge which Pardew refutes. He was also quick to insist that he had never intended to insult Moyes or Everton.
‘I don't think I ever said that,' said Pardew. ‘It's a very tough call to know how this game will go and who will finish above who.
‘We're in very similar scenarios - our squads haven't got great depth compared to the top sides so obviously we're a bit vulnerable playing Everton this time but maybe it'll be their turn in the return game at our arena.
‘It is a difficult one to call and I think both myself and David will be looking to finish above each other. I would probably take it if you asked me now if we could guarantee finishing above them. As long as it's fourth!'
Pardew is without injured goalkeeper Tim Krul and captain Fabricio Coloccini and midfield enforcer Cheick Tiote is still doubtful with the calf injury which has kept him out of the Magpies' last two games.