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Everton to target Andrew Johnson

last updated Thursday 17th March 2011, 11:00 AM
Fulham striker Andrew Johnson
Fulham striker
Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson
Everton defender Tony Hibbert says Everton must stop former Blue Andy Johnson if they are to extend their remarkable home record against Fulham on Saturday.

Everton have never lost a league match against the Cottagers at Goodison Park - a sequence that goes back 62 years.

Fulham have twice left Merseyside victorious in the FA Cup but never when league points have been up for grabs.

The Blues even have a 100 per cent home record against the West London club since the start of the Premier League and recorded a double over them in 2008/09.

Fulham have been poor travellers in recent times but are trying to change that under new boss Mark Hughes.

The Welshman has employed a more attacking philosophy and his plans this weekend are likely to involve Johnson, who has returned to form and fitness.

The striker endured a torrid time with injuries after swapping Goodison Park for Craven Cottage in 2008, and Hibbert says he is glad to see him back on the pitch.

However, he knows that spells danger this Saturday, and believes the Blues will have to pay special attention to the pacy forward.

"AJ is back fit again and that is good to see," Hibbert told evertontv. "He is a great lad to be with and the pace he has is frightening. He is sharp and can finish as well so we will have to be wary of him.

"He was a great lad when he was here, a good pro, and it was just one of those things that he moved on. He has had a bad injury but is back now so hopefully for him he can stay fit and get a good run of football.

"It should be a good game," Hibbert added. "It probably does help a bit when you know you have a good record against a team. It gives you that added confidence but we all know nothing is guaranteed in the Premier League.

"We need a result - we need to kick on now. We have been saying it for a while and I am tired of saying it and hearing it. It won't be easy as they are getting players back and will have a good team out."

The long-serving defender reaches the 10th anniversary of his first debut later this month, and Hibbert can even remember Fulham boss Hughes' short stint at Goodison Park in 2000.

"Mark Hughes was here when I was here and I trained with him," he recalled. "He has gone on to be a good manager at a number of clubs.

"It is a great influence when someone like that comes in. Seeing players like that when you are training, it was not just Mark Hughes, we had a lot of senior pros and you do look up to people who have done what they have in the game."

Source Andy Lewis at Everton FC
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