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Betis Win Boosts Distin

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Sylvain Distin is happy with how Everton’s defensive unit is shaping up heading into next weekend’s Premier League opener at Norwich.

Centre-half Distin has featured in all seven of the Blues pre-season outings, encountering some of the world’s most clinical forwards along the way.

Only a late goal from Real Betis man Braian Rodriguez prevented Everton from recording a shut-out in manager Roberto Martinez’s first home game on Sunday afternoon.

After another taxing 90 minutes, the Toffees emerged victors for the fourth time in the lead-up to the new season – a further source of encouragement for the French defender.

“We didn’t keep a clean sheet but the most important thing is that we do when the season starts,” Distin told evertontv.

“We’ve been doing well, we have played really good opposition with some of the best strikers in the world - definitely best strikers in Europe - so it was a real challenge.

“In the first half [against Betis] it was a bit difficult and I think we’d been a little exposed. The second half much was better but all together it was a good game for us, a good test.

“It was really good opposition and we were not expecting an easy game.”

Distin has remained on Merseyside whereas 13 of his teammates have departed for the midweek international fixtures.

Like his manager Martinez, the 35-year-old now has his fingers crossed that they all return fully fit for next Saturday’s trip to Norwich.

“At the moment it’s about how well we are going to recover,” he continued. ”Some of us have played something like five games in two weeks, plus the jet lag and the travelling.

“Half, up to three quarters, of the lads are going play another game on Tuesday or Wednesday.

“There’s lots of travelling so I think how we recover [for] the first game is going to be important and then from there we can see.”

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