Everton captain Phil Neville says fit-again players such as Thomas Gravesen and Tim Cahill are freshening up the team.

"We are getting a freshness back to the place even though we had extra-time against Luton," he told evertonTV. "The manager thought we would benefit from that in terms of fitness and we did against Birmingham.

"Things at the moment seem to be coming in the right direction and the players are getting fit. You saw that with Vaughany and Tim Cahill over the last couple of weeks."

He continued: "We believe we are building a squad that can keep improving.

"If you took four players out of the team last year you would have been down to the reserve team players and the young kids.

"We have got a really strong squad at the moment. I think there is a freshness there with players coming in."