Bench duty was no fun for Distin
Everton defender Sylvain Distin hated his recent spell out of the team but it has helped convince him he wants to extend his career in the Barclays Premier League.
The 35-year-old centre-back is out of contract this summer and although manager David Moyes has intimated he wants to offer the Frenchman a new deal, negotiations are not likely to begin until the new year. Distin is keen to continue as a Premier League player but also wants to play as many games as possible.
"Being on the bench, I didn't like it and I think it's my longest spell on the bench since I started football," he said.
"I did hate it but I did try to take the positives out of it and it made me realise that I'm not ready to stop at all. I'm not ready to be on the bench at all and that's a good thing. I'm working hard every day not to be on the bench, but we have four great centre-backs.
"We have an England international (Phil Jagielka), a Dutch international who played in the final of the World Cup (John Heitinga) and then you have me and (Shane) Duffy. It's tough competition but it is healthy competition. We enjoy playing with each other and there is no tension between us.
"This can only make us better and we know that we have to perform week in and week out, otherwise there will be another two players who will be picked.
"The reason I am in England is to play against the best strikers and I would rather have those kind of challenges every week rather than play in a league where I don't enjoy my football. I know it is difficult but that is what makes football magic for me."
The weekend draw at champions Manchester City was Everton's seventh in nine matches and having started so well, riding high in second at the end of September, they have now slipped to sixth. However, Distin insisted there had to be a sense of perspective as at the same stage last season they were 14th position after eight defeats.
"I know a lot of people will moan at us for not winning games but they have to remember where we were at this time last season," he told evertontv. "We haven't conceded many goals, we are scoring more and we are sitting in a comfortable position.
"People are disappointed because we are out of the top four but look at the teams around us and see how much they spend each season and look how much we spend and every season we lose a big player. I think we can be proud. People have to be realistic."