March 9 2014 Latest news:
Friday, April 6, 2012
Goalkeeper Tim Howard believes Everton must not sit back and wait for Norwich City to take the game to them at Carrow Road on Saturday.
The Toffees are among the Premier League’s form teams with just two defeats in 15 matches in all competitions, and have won 2-0 in each of their last three games.
Howard says that success has come from pushing teams back from the start – a ploy that worked on their visit to another of the promoted sides, Swansea, last month.
“What we’ve been trying to do lately is really press teams,” he said. “The gaffer got his game plan right against Swansea.
“We were a little bit out of our comfort zone, high pressing all over the pitch but it seemed to give us an edge and get us on the front foot. Rather than sit back and wait to be broken down we were really going and pushing them.”
The American added: “We did that a bit against West Brom as well, another tough team to break down, with 4-4-2 and two banks of four. It’s difficult and they made it hard but we pressed high.
“With Norwich we need to do a similar thing. It’s away from home so you need to play a little bit differently but with the run we’re on, and the confidence we have there’s no reason we can’t go there, without taking terrible risks, get up against them and make them try and play around us.”
Howard told the Liverpool Echo he had been very impressed with the Canaries – and especially manager Paul Lambert.
“His players think the world of him,” said the 33-year-old, who canvassed the opinion of City’s American-born defender Zak Whitbread and former Everton goalkeeper John Ruddy.
“He seems to have a really good way about him, and he’s come up and impressed everyone. The boys seem to play for him.
“Fair play because they haven’t come up and been coy and reserved, getting turned over. They’ve really taken it to teams and I think that’s the way forward for newly-promoted teams. You can’t just sit back and be there for the taking. They play well at home, too.
“It’s another top Scottish boss. Scotland just produces some really, really good managers and long may it continue because they have got the right pedigree to make top-quality coaches.”
Skipper Grant Holt scored City’s goal in the 1-1 draw at Goodison Park in December and Howard already knows he will be in for a tough test against the 14-goal striker.
“It’s going to be tough because he bangs into you and beats you up,” he said. “He’s non-stop for as long as he’s on the pitch. He’s another they relied heavily on to bring them up.”