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Tony Hibbert: Leon Osman should be considered as an Everton great

Makeshift left-back believes Osman has earned legend status with Blues

A great pair from start to finish
A great pair from start to finish
Gary M. Prior/Getty Images

Goodison favourite Tony Hibbert told the Liverpool Echo that he thinks Leon Osman should be thought of as an Everton legend.

Ossie appeared in his 400th game in a Blues shirt on Saturday against West Ham and scored the winner at the Gwladys Street end.

The Toffees climbed up to ninth in the table after Osman’s winning goal and are now two points behind fourth-place Manchester United.

Osman, 33, is just 33 appearances behind Dixie Dean in all competitions and entering Everton’s top 10 appearances makers and Hibbert says Osman is up there with the club’s best.

"He was brilliant. That’s Ossie all over. He scores so many important goals for us and to get 400 appearances was a credit to him and his family. He’s a great lad and he deserves everything that has been said about him over the last few weeks since his testimonial dinner.

"For me he’s up there with the best players I’ve seen at the club over the years. You can class him as a legend.

"Everything about him is different class; on the pitch, on the training ground."

Hibbert and Osman came through the Everton youth system together and were stalwarts throughout the David Moyes era.

Due to injury and Seamus Coleman’s rise to the right-back summit of the Premier League, Hibbert’s involvement under Roberto Martinez has been limited however when the veteran has deputised, he hasn’t put a foot wrong.

Against the Hammers it wasn’t Coleman, Hibbert was deputising for, it was Leighton Baines; in an unfamiliar left-back role.

"I enjoyed playing. Obviously it was a position which is a bit alien to me. It felt strange but the manager asked me to do it and I’ll play anywhere for this club and always give 100%.

"It was always going to be scrappy.

"We knew it was going to be hard against West Ham, even without all the players they had out injured. They are a tough side and the lads they brought in to replace them were big lads.

"We had to dig in and show character."

"West Ham have been playing well but as I say without their injured lads they decided to rely on their strength.

"The most important thing is the win. The performance comes next but the points were important."

After what nearly everyone would consider as an indifferent start to the season, the Blues are now one win away from a Champions League spot, something Hibbert and the rest of the Everton squad recognise.

"We’ve got the most recent international break over with and it was important to hit the road running with a win," added the right-back. "Now we can’t wait for all those games which are coming on the horizon.

"The league is very close. A couple of wins on the bounce and you’re right up there. That’s what we need now. Keep this unbeaten run going, string some wins together and we’ll be in a good position."