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Distin's Call For Leaders

Frenchman says others have to step up in Phil Neville's absence.

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Phil Neville
Darron Gibson
Sylvain Distin
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Sylvain Distin has called on his Everton teammates to step up and become leaders in the absence of captain Phil Neville.

The 35-year-old skipper underwent knee surgery last week and is expected to be out for up to two months - meaning he will sit out important forthcoming fixtures against Norwich, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham.

Blues boss David Moyes felt his side missed Neville's influence during Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Reading.

And Distin believes it’s now important others shoulder the extra responsibility.

"It's for us now to find a solution on the pitch," said Distin in an exclusive interview with evertontv. "If one leader is missing maybe each player has to be a leader on their own and try to fill the gap. We can't use [Neville's absence] as an excuse.

"It's a shame but it's part of football - you're always going to have injuries. Phil is really important for the squad as well, his spirit and his mentality - he's a real leader and we're definitely going to miss him.

"But there's no point crying about it. That's football, it's the way it is and we're going to have to do without him."

While Neville's news came as a blow, Moyes has been buoyed by the return to action of Irish midfielder Darron Gibson.

Distin played behind the former Manchester United star as he came through a 63-minute run-out in Sunday's Under-21 game against Reading and was impressed by his colleague's comeback display.

"He hasn't played for a while now, nearly three months, so he did well," he said. "His passing seems to be sharp so I think he's doing good.

"I think we've missed him. He's really important in our squad and we don't have a big squad, so obviously if we can get a player back that will be beneficial."

Tickets for Saturday's visit of Norwich are still available. To secure your seat, click here or call 0871 663 1878.

Alternatively, buy your ticket from Ticket Quarter in Queen Square or Everton Two in Liverpool One.

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