Neville reveals Everton embarrassment

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The Independent Football

Everton captain Phil Neville has revealed how embarrassment and shame in the dressing room inspired the team to climb off the bottom of the Barclays Premier League.

The former Manchester United defender believes the self-assessment was the "kick up the backside we needed" and insists the players never lost self-belief during their dismal start to the campaign.

The Toffees finally registered their first win of the season at Birmingham on Saturday thanks to an own goal from Roger Johnson and a late header by Tim Cahill in a 2-0 success.

Neville said: "It's been difficult because you speak to anyone and they say, 'Everton have the best squad in years'.

"We've said it, the manager has said it. We're playing good football, but we're at the bottom of the league.

"That's shamed us this week. We came off against Fulham last weekend slightly pleased by the way we had played to get a point.

"But we hit rock bottom and to be bottom of the league for a club like Everton and for some of the players in that dressing room was embarrassing and shameful.

"I must admit it's been talked about almost every minute of every day.

"We were bottom of the league and it was the kick up the backside we needed.

"We've also let the fans down. They have been deflated these last couple of weeks and we have as well.

"I think they saw us get our just rewards at Birmingham for the effort we put in."

Neville added: "The pleasing thing is we've not lost that self-belief.

"Sometimes when you have bad defeats, you can revert back to safety first and playing with fear.

"I don't think we've done that and everybody needs applauding for that."

But 33-year-old Neville knows there is much work to be done before Everton can have cause to celebrate.

He said: "There was no real celebration after the Birmingham game because it's just one win.

"Yeah, we've won a game, but we can still do better. The pleasing thing is we've persevered, we've stuck to our guns because we haven't been playing that badly.

"Sometimes at this club, it's got to get bad before it gets better. When we've hit rock bottom, the spirit and togetherness comes through."