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Southampton (A) Sat 20 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Hibbert Ready For Battle


Fit-again Tony Hibbert is hoping Everton's extra fixtures next season can help him re-launch his Blues career.

A spate of injury problems have contributed to the long-serving defender making just 10 competitive first-team appearances since May 2012.

But with the Club’s Europa League involvement meaning at least an extra six matches before the turn of the year, manager Roberto Martinez has already outlined the importance of squad rotation.

Consequently, Hibbert, who penned a new two-year contract on Tuesday, is targeting a bigger involvement in the forthcoming campaign.

"I picked up a few injuries [last season] but I’m fit and I’m ready to go," the 33-year-old told evertontv.

“Because of the amount of games that we are playing and the way the manager likes to keep people fresh, he might introduce players who haven’t played the week before. The games will come thick and fast, so it is very important to have a good, strong squad.”

Player of the Season Seamus Coleman has been the regular right-back for the last two seasons and Hibbert is pleased with how his teammate has thrived on the opportunity – albeit at his own expense.

“Seamus has been unbelievable and deserves his place for the way he is playing,” he added. “It’s one of them where we need players in the squad that will keep fighting for each other and pushing each other for places.

"Every season you are a professional footballer you have got to be looking over your shoulder and seeing who is coming through to fight for your place. It’s a natural instinct that comes with being a footballer."

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