Howard Exorcises Ewood Demons
American 'keeper inspires Everton to victory at Blackburn.
What a difference a year makes for Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard.
The American custodian's man of the match display in the Blues' 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers on Saturday more than made up for his error in last term's 1-0 defeat to the same opposition at a similar stage of the season on the same ground.
Howard denied Junior Hoilett from the penalty spot at the start of the second half, made an excellent save from Mauro Formica, who missed Blackburn's second penalty, and withstood an aerial bombardment from their physical hosts.
Mikel Arteta sealed the points by converting the third penalty of the game in injury time, but it is Howard who will take the plaudits and he was delighted to play his part in Everton's first victory of the 2011/12 campaign.
"Top level goalkeepers have to be resilient and have to be able to bounce back from bad games," Howard told evertontv.
"I'm no different, I try and keep my standards high, last year was a mistake but hopefully today I had a hand in the win and it's now evened out for me.
"I thought it was a good save from Hoilett's penalty, he hit it with some pace but I was able to get across and make the save.
"When the second one was awarded I thought 'here we go again' and I was trying to figure out who was going to take it. I thought Junior Hoilett might have another crack at it and that's a whole new psychological battle, but it wasn't him," he added.
"I was hoping to get a draw at that stage, hopefully make another save on a penalty and keep us in the game but thankfully he missed."
David Moyes' side had to wait until October for their first win of last season and Howard believes getting a win at an earlier stage will boost confidence ahead of their game against Aston Villa at Goodison Park in a fortnights time.
"This first win for us will be huge, three points in the Premier League is priceless and you can't imagine what it can do for your psyche," explained Howard.
"We'll go away (for internationals), we'll come back buzzing next Thursday get a few days of training in and hopefully get a good result at home."