Tim Howard has revealed how messages from Everton fans spurred him on at the World Cup.
The USA’s involvement in Brazil was ended by Belgium on Tuesday night despite a record-breaking performance from Howard which catapulted him into the global spotlight.
But the Everton custodian insists he’s able to reflect in a positive fashion.
Howard told evertonfc.com: "The whole experience was awesome and it meant so much to me to know that the Everton fans were right behind me.
"The messages of support that I had from Evertonians were fantastic and so many started to follow the USA when England went out, which is amazing. I did notice the odd Everton flag at games in Brazil and they made me smile.”
Blues winger Kevin Mirallas and former loanee Romelu Lukaku were key in Belgium’s triumph over the States and there were emotional scenes after the game when the pair embraced the goalkeeper who had thwarted their teammates time and again.
"Those guys were great after the final whistle,” said Howard. “They knew that we had given everything out there and they had such respect for the way we had played. I was devastated to have lost the match but I wished Kevin all the best for the rest of the competition. I guess the Toffees may move onto Belgium now.”
The 35-year-old glovesman has already turned his attention to matters back on Merseyside, although he admits he’s looking forward to a break first.
He continued: “I went into the tournament full of confidence and being part of such a great season for Everton undoubtedly helped me in Brazil. Confidence is such a big thing in football and the manager and the players at the club helped me be in just the right frame of mind for a tournament.
“I must be honest I am now looking forward to chilling out and taking a break but I am also really looking forward to getting back to Finch Farm and Goodison and seeing all the guys and the staff and the fans again. It's been an unbelievable experience and I hope the Everton supporters have shared it with me."