Neville wants to see Everton spirit

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The Independent Football

Everton captain Phil Neville has called on his side to dig themselves out of a hole - starting at Fulham tomorrow.

The Toffees' dreadful start has seen them slip into the Barclays Premier League's bottom three as well as suffering a Carling Cup shock against Brentford on Tuesday.

And Neville told Everton TV: "The spirit that everyone raves about has to come to the fore now.

"As captain I have to make sure I'm leading from the front, but I couldn't want a better set of players behind me to get us out of this mess that we're in."

They will face a Cottagers side shorn of all their frontline strikers after Moussa Dembele joined Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson on the sidelines following a reckless lunge from Stoke's Andy Wilkinson on Tuesday.

A statement on the club website read: "An X-ray showed there was no fracture to the ankle, however an MRI scan has revealed some ligament damage that will need to recover prior to a return to training."

Sebastien Bassong feels some good can come from Tottenham's Carling Cup heartbreak against bitter rivals Arsenal as his side prepare to face West Ham.

Summer signings Sandro and Stipe Pletikosa made their debuts along with youngster Steven Caulker and Bassong told the club website: "They will all grow from this match and be better for it."

The Hammers' back-up goalkeeper Marek Stech expects his side's 2-1 win at Sunderland to provide a welcome boost and said: "We have more confidence.

"If we play like we played, as a team, I think we can win."

Alex McLeish believes Wigan winger Charles N'Zogbia will face a hostile reception from Birmingham fans at St. Andrew's.

N'Zogbia looked certain to join Blues last month after the two clubs agreed a £9million fee - but N'Zogbia asked for more money at the 11th hour and the deal collapsed.

McLeish said: "I think he will get a good welcome! You know what fans are like.

"It is part of the game and footballers have to take it on the chin and get on with it."

Opposite number Roberto Martinez praised N'Zogbia's application since the move fell through, and added: "Charles has been a victim of a very unfair situation for players.

"The transfer window is a time when players need to think about their futures and that shouldn't be going on while the competition is going on.

"Once the window shut he was focused and wanted to help the team."

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is looking for captain Lee Cattermole to reward his faith at Liverpool tomorrow.

Bruce has retained the 22-year-old as his skipper despite seeing his two red cards in just four games this season.

He said: "He is a born winner, the kid. He is tough, but I have never seen him try to injure anybody.

"He plays with his heart on his sleeve, and every team needs one of those."

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini leads his side out against reigning champions Chelsea with a warning from West Brom forward Simon Cox that his position is under threat.

Cox's goal dumped City out of the Carling Cup in midweek and he said: "When you are at a club like Manchester City and you spend £200million on players you expect silverware.

"Mancini has to deal with that and a lot of questions are going to be asked."

The Baggies, for their part, face Arsenal tomorrow.

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway has vowed there will be no repeat of his side's first-half capitulation against Chelsea as they take on local rivals Blackburn.

The Blues led 4-0 at half-time and Holloway said: "I took full blame because I told them to do something that didn't work. I will never do that again."

Blackburn defender Phil Jones said: "Growing up in Lancashire I never imagined Blackpool would be in the Premier League but the supporters will be looking forward to a derby.

"It is a local derby so there will be much more riding on it than three points."

Sunday's games see Manchester United travel to Bolton, Wolves host derby rivals Aston Villa and Newcastle take on Stoke.

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