Hibbert looks to defend place

Hibbert has helped David Moyes’ men record the fifth best defensive

record in the Premier League having conceded just 20 goals this

season. But the 30-year-old, who has started 16 top-flight games,

knows he cannot take his place for granted. Even experienced

centre-half Sylvain Distin has been forced to settle for a place on

the bench, before he was restored in the 1-1 draw at Sunderland on

Boxing Day, with fierce competition for places. Right-back Hibbert

has hailed Everton’s strength in depth and believes it keeps him on

top of his game. “We have players who can play right-back, like Nev

(Phil Neville), Seamus (Coleman), John (Heitinga), and it is good

for the squad to have those options,” Hibbert told the Liverpool

Echo. “But I’m enjoying it now and I know I have to prove it every

week to keep my place in the side. “In the last game (with Swansea)

we showed we know what we need to do defensively, but it is nice to

have a few lads who can come in and help out, as Sylvain did today.

“He is a top-class defender, but we have a few who can come in.”