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Everton skipper Neville confident AJ will bounce back

Everton captain Phil Neville is confident Andy Johnson will bounce back after his ankle op yesterday.

"The positive thing is that AJ has gone away with a goal under his belt," Neville told

"He has needed a goal and ever since the game against Kharkiv, he has been desperate to put things right. He really deserved it yesterday.

"He has been playing with this injury for a few weeks and now that he has got a goal, he can relax a bit. It is a shame that he is going to miss out on playing for England but the important thing is for him to get right for Everton and get himself 100 per cent fit."

Everton skipper Neville insisted that the squad had always retained confidence in AJ's scoring ability.

He said: "His workrate in the past few weeks, even though he has been carrying this injury, has been a shining light to all our forwards. It has never dwindled and it was only a matter of time before he got back among the goals.

"It just needed a ricochet or something like that to get him going again and you could see the relief when the goal went in. We were absolutely delighted for him and I'm sure that he can come back better than ever."

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