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Everton slipped to another defeat on Sunday, this time losing 2-1 to Manchester United. Despite a late onslaught from the Toffees which saw David De Gea make a string of saves to keep United in front, Everton couldn't find the equaliser - which leaves them in 17th place in the Premier League table with just six points. Despite their poor start, right back Tony Hibbert is adamant that Roberto Martinez's side will return to form soon.
"Football is funny. It’s hard to figure out why it hasn’t worked for us, it just happens," said the experienced defender. "We haven’t started the way we wanted to but it will come. We’ll click again. The games will come thick and fast again after the international break and we just need to get our confidence back and get going again."
The game could've been so different if Leighton Baines had converted a first half penalty. It was Hibbert's run which prompted a rash tackle from United left back Luke Shaw, but the usually dependable Baines saw his spot kick saved by the sensational De Gea. His rare miscue from 12 yards was concerning, but forward Steven Naismith has backed the England international to recover.
"Records are there to be stopped and unfortunately for Bainesy it was today," Naismith said after the game. "He’s an experienced boy who understands the game and is a leader in our dressing room. It’s not going to be a big distraction for him."
Baines had a familiar face in front of him down the left hand side though, as South African international Steven Pienaar returned to the starting XI after almost two months out injured. Now back to fitness, Pienaar says he wants more starts after a frustrating campaign to date.
"It was a great feeling just to be back on a pitch after almost six weeks out," he said. "I didn’t expect to start but when you get an opportunity you have to grab it with both hands. I’m thankful that the manager gave me a chance after only a few days of training."
"You can put all the graft in, running and stuff, but the thing I’ve missed is playing. It’s difficult just running and training, it’s not the same. I need more games. It’s important for me to stay focused and stay fit. After the last couple of weeks it’s been hard but I’ll stay positive and hopefully get more games," added the former Ajax man.