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Tim Howard hits back at his Everton critics

Toffees goalkeeper hits back after criticism of his recent performances

Alex Broadway/Getty Images

Tim Howard has come out fighting when he was asked to respond to those questioning his place in the Everton team.

There have been an increasing number of supporters doubting Howard's credentials as a Premier League No.1 in recent weeks, particularly after last month's defeat at Arsenal, with the 36-year-old looking vulnerable to routine free-kicks into the six-yard box.

For many it was further evidence that Howard's skills were on the wane and that it was time for Roberto Martinez to consider an alternative.

When one alternative - Joel Robles - picked up a man-of-the-match award against Norwich in the League Cup, those calls for change grew ever louder.

Martinez wasn't listening though, and promptly restored Howard to the first-team the following weekend - winding the American's critics up still further.

The Liverpool Echo caught up with Howard after Saturday's draw against West Ham and he was in no mood to take the criticism lying down:

"This is my 13 year in the Premier League I have been criticised every week. I know how good I am and know what it takes to be successful.

There is a belief within the team and the belief of the manager and that is what people miss.

"Criticism means nothing to the players as long as you have the backing of the manager and your team-mates and that is what we have in the dressing room, so right away it doesn't bother me."

"It's the Premier League, it's blood and thunder, it's rough and tumble and criticism is part of how you make a living.

"I thought we handled their aerial threat brilliantly, we didn't give them anything and any cross that came into the box was dealt with."

Defiant stuff and a response that suggests Howard is not going to go down without a fight.

It won't completely remove the questions marks hanging over Howard's game but it appears he is at least determined to try and repay his manager's continued faith in his ability.