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Thursday 18 September K.O. 20:05

Ossie And Hibbo Deserve It Most

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Watch Video Ossie And Hibbo Deserve It Most

Everton hero David Unsworth believes no players are more deserving of Wembley success than Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert.
 
The True Blue duo were part of the Everton contingent when Unsy was still patrolling the Goodison backline.
 
They may now approaching veteran status in their own right, but Unsworth - himself a Cup winner and product of the Everton youth system - insists a semi-final success against local rivals Liverpool followed by Cup glory in May is nothing less than the pair deserve as reward for their professionalism and loyalty.
 
"You would love to see the likes of Hibbo and Ossie lift a cup because they have been here for more than 10 years now and it is people like that who deserve it more than anybody," Unsworth told evertontv.
 
"The other day I was going home from the game and this guy came on the radio talking about how important the likes of Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert are for the team and for Everton. We have star players, but the job those two lads have done for this club is outstanding."
 
Osman has been in a rich vein of form in recent weeks, epitomised by his classy strike in the Easter Monday 4-0 romp against Sunderland.
 
Unsworth, who has been back at Finch Farm this week completing a coaching course, is a keen admirer of the versatile midfielder's under-rated talents.
 
He continued: "Ossie hasn't changed a bit - he is still ratting around everywhere in the training ground the way he always did. He's a top guy. How Ossie has never played for England is beyond me. He is so under-rated because you can play him anywhere in midfield or just off the front, he is brave, he has great feet and he has an eye for goal."

Unsworth gets stuck in to Manchester United during the 1995 FA Cup final triumphUnsworth gets stuck in to Manchester United during the 1995 FA Cup final triumph
 
Another player who has impressed Unsworth is a more recent addition to the Blues' ranks.
 
He adds: "I've seen quite a lot of John Heitinga over the last 12 months. To keep either Distin or Jagielka out of the team you must be doing something really well. I know when he first arrived his form wasn't the greatest and he played the holding role in midfield a couple of times but he has got class written all over him in the way he reads the game.
 
"He isn't the biggest but he's so quick and he reads the game so well. His positioning is excellent and that is one of the main things you want from a centre-half. He is a top class international player who is in great form. Whoever the manager picks, he has a nice decision to make because he has three top class players for two positions."
 
The never-say-die attitude displayed by both Hibbert, Osman and Heitinga are the same qualities Unsworth wants to see from every man in a blue shirt on Saturday.

He is a top class international player who is in great form
- David Unsworth on John Heitinga

 
He continued: "I saw them against Sunderland the other day and I thought they played really well. There were a lot of changes for the game but I'm sure the manager will bring one or two back into the team who have been doing really well week in and week out. That will strengthen the team and the squad and if Everton can perform at the level they have been doing it will be a very difficult game for Liverpool.
 
"I'm sure they will perform, and if they do I'm confident they will win. The form book does go out of the window in games like this - we saw that in the last derby match at Anfield when Everton were the slight favourites. Liverpool on the night performed well and won the game.
 
"Even going back to when I started playing, we were struggling in the league but had a great record in derby matches. It really is a one-off. It is all about who plays better on the day and I just hope it is going to be us.
 
"You can't hear yourself think in any Merseyside derby, let alone one at Wembley. It is important as a player to get an early touch of the ball in a game like this. Get a good touch, a good tackle or a good header in. Find your feet as quickly as you can, get into the game and stamp your authority against your opponent. The more Everton players that do that, the more chance we have of winning.
 
"I didn't particularly enjoy derby games to be honest. I enjoyed them afterwards when we had won but they are tense affairs, particularly when you've come through the ranks at the Club because the prospect of losing hurts even more when it is Liverpool. Can thep layers control the nerves, control the nervous tension and find their way into the game as early as possible? That is the key."
 
And, for the first Merseyside derby at Wembley for 23 years, Unsworth is certain the fans will represent the city well.
 
He concluded: "I'm sure both sets of supporters will do the city proud. It is quite right the game is being played on the Saturday and not on the Hillsborough anniversary. The FA got a decision right there and hopefully Everton can win and do the city proud as well by putting on a spectacle for the rest of the country. This is what everybody who is in football looks forward to - massive occasions like this."

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