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09 Sep 2006 17:09
Tim Cahill backed Andrew Johnson to get 20 goals this season after the England striker scored an opportunist double to fire his side to a 3-0 derby victory over Liverpool on Saturday.
Johnson’s brace, after Cahill had opened the scoring, extended Everton’s unbeaten start to the season to four matches and Australian midfielder Cahill insisted there was no reason why the run should not continue.
“We’ve been working hard, the fans deserve it and so do we,” Cahill said.
“Liverpool are a great team but they don’t have a God-given right to come on the pitch and win these matches, and we showed that today.
“AJ is an unbelievable striker and he is going to get goals. If he keeps doing it week in, week out we are going to get results.
“It has been a great start after what happened last season [when Everton took until November to amass their current tally of ten points] but we are going to keep our feet on the floor and just enjoy it.
“AJ is definitely the piece in the puzzle we have been looking for and we just have to work around him and get him 20 goals this season.”
Delighted Everton boss David Moyes, savouring only his second derby victory, joined in the praise for Johnson, who muscled past Jamie Carragher for his first goal and pounced on an error by Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina for his stoppage-time second.
“We always said he would score goals,” Moyes said.
With Manchester United not in action until later Saturday, Everton moved to the top of the table for the first time in five years.
“That sounds great and it is something I have been longing to hear since I came here, but we won’t be getting carried away,” Moyes insisted.
“With the money that is going to be in the Premier League next season [when a new TV deal kicks in] everybody wants to be in and that remains our target.
“We have got ten points now and once we get to 40 we can start thinking about a new target.”
Benitez, who had gambled on bringing Carragher back following an ankle injury, admitted it had been “a bad day” for his side.
“We made a lot of mistakes and if you make too many mistakes in football you pay for them,” the Spaniard said.
“It’s disappointing because we knew how important these three points were before we start to play Champions League next week.”
Benitez confirmed that Liverpool will be without John Arne Riise for Tuesday’s match at PSV Eindhoven after the Norwegian defender was carried off with an ankle injury late in the game.
“I’m sure he will miss 10 or 15 days,” Benitez said. “It is always difficult to play away in Europe but we have enough players in the squad to feel confident. We have to anaylse what went wrong today.” - Sapa-AFP
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