Hibbert not want easy ride
Tony Hibbert, Everton
The long-serving defender was acting under orders when he gave Morecambe manager Jim Bentley the chance to score in his own testimonial match at Morecambe last weekend.
But Hibbert wants the visit of AEK Athens for his match to be as competitive a game as possible, and he is focused on being in the best possible shape in time for the start of Everton’s Premier League season on August 20th.
At Motherwell on Saturday, Hibbert got through his second 90 minute run-out inside just 48 hours.
The postponement of Wednesday’s Dundee United match to Thursday evening, and the early kick-off for the Motherwell friendly (1.30pm), meant that four players – Hibbert and teammates Shane Duffy, Phil Neville and Seamus Coleman, together with goalkeeper Tim Howard – got through two full 90 minutes in less than 48 hours.
“I feel very tired!” he said afterwards. “I think the last time I played two games back to back so quickly is when we were in Europe.
“But I’ve got that in the bank now.
“The hardest part was finishing at left-back and having to adjust. People say it’s just a case of switching sides, but it changes everything.
“You’re so used to your body positioning being a certain way and when you go to the left it’s completely different.
“Training’s been more about endurance and getting your legs going again so the matches help build the sharpness,” concluded Hibbert.