Martinez: Hibbert has been a silent professional over the years, until now

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has said that Tony Hibbert has been fairly quiet in the changing room until the last couple of weeks where he has started to share his experiences with the younger players.

The veteran right-back enters the final couple of months of his contract and has forced his way back into the team following injury and Martinez is impressed with his dedication.

“Tony, as you know, it has been such a frustrating time for him in the last two seasons,” Martinez said.

“He hasn’t been able to keep himself fit but, again, the way he never accepted defeat, it would have been easy for Tony just to decide that he wasn’t going to be fully fit and be back in the first-team environment but he is not that type of character.

“He has been working extremely hard in different ways, he had to go through surgery and he wanted to help the team as soon as he saw the team needed his experience and his know-how.

“He had 45 minutes with the under-21s, then 65 minutes and when he came off the bench he showed that all that hard work paid off and it was great for everyone to see that sort of example for any youngster.

“Tony, at the moment, is working hard to be in the team in the next three matches and his future will be decided at the end of the season.”

“I think every player is different,” he said.

“Tony, over the years, has been a silent professional if you want.

“He takes real pride in what he does but he just focuses on himself. But I’ve seen a little bit of a change in the last couple of weeks, the under-21s game at Goodison against Leicester, all of a sudden he shared his experience and spoke to the young players and clearly that is something that impressed everyone because that is not his normal way of behaving and, I think, it showed you that he is at an age where he can share his experience and see things before they develop and to see those points get across to the youngsters has been terrific so I can’t speak highly enough of what Tony Hibbert has done in the last two or three weeks.”

 

Will Hibbert get a new contract?

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