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Thursday, September 27, 2012
Southall: Howard should have played

Mike Whalley

Neville Southall believes Everton manager David Moyes' decision to rest goalkeeper Tim Howard for Tuesday night's Capital One Cup defeat at Leeds was "pointless".

• Leeds United 2-1 Everton

Southall has revealed how he used to have rows with club management if they ever tried to leave him out of the side. The former Everton and Wales keeper still holds the club record for consecutive league appearances, having made 212 in a row between October 1987 and February 1993, before a red card in a match at Sheffield Wednesday brought a suspension that ended the run.

Howard is closing in on that record, having made 189 consecutive league appearances for Everton, a run stretching back to September 2007.

Southall told the Liverpool Echo: "I hated missing games. I used to have a row with Colin Harvey and Howard Kendall if they ever wanted to leave me out, because you'd lose a bit of momentum. I liked to stay in the zone.

"When I looked at the game against Leeds on TV I was looking to see if it was Tim playing, then thinking: 'Why have they left him out?' It's pointless. Outfield players I can understand, but once a goalkeeper gets in that groove you want to leave him in there.

"If you're No. 1, you're No. 1 and it's up to you to play yourself out of that position. I hated missing any game, even a Simod Cup tie against Millwall with 3,000 inside Goodison because I was looking forward to playing in a young team. I think Howard Kendall left me out because he didn't want to be in the competition anyway!"

Southall believes Howard has become a much better goalkeeper since arriving at Goodison Park from Manchester United in 2006, initially on a season's loan.

"Tim's a good goalkeeper," he added. "His distribution could be better. Sometimes he kicks it too high and too far, which is okay when you've got Fellaini on the end of it but not always, but other than that he's a very good keeper.

"I think he's done well and he's improved since he's been at the club."

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