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Page last updated at 12:31 GMT, Monday, 18 October 2010 13:31 UK

Phil Neville hails Tim Cahill importance to Everton

Tim Cahill (l) celebrates his goal against Liverpool on Sunday
Cahill has now scored five goals against Liverpool for the Toffees

Everton's Phil Neville praised Tim Cahill after he became the Toffees' top post-war scorer in Merseyside derbies.

Cahill beat Duncan Ferguson's four-goal record in the 2-0 win over Liverpool.

"He leads from the front and he's that special to us and I think we must never take him for granted," captain Neville told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"I look back at great players who've played for this club and Duncan Ferguson is one that stands out for me and he's right up there with him now."

Australia midfielder Cahill, 30, scored his 60th goal for Everton in Sunday's victory at Goodison Park in his 216th appearance, and has a reputation for scoring the majority of his goals with his head.

He's our talisman and he's the one who flies back from Australia and gets out onto the training field and plays in the derby

Phil Neville on Tim Cahill

Neville added: "The only surprise is that he played it in with his foot and not his head. I think that is his first goal with his foot for Everton for a long time.

"He's our talisman and he's the one who flies back from Australia and gets out onto the training field and plays in the derby."

Another player earning praise from the former England defender was youngster Seamus Coleman, who crossed for Cahill to score the opening goal in Sunday's victory.

Irishman Coleman, 22, who cost the Blues £60,000 from Sligo Rovers last year, made only his third start in an Everton shirt in the Merseyside derby.


"He's a brilliant lad, he's an absolute warrior," the skipper continued. "If you ask him to run through a brick wall, he'd run through it and run back through it again as well.

"It was his first derby game and I said to him 'just run at them', because he's unstoppable. He's a right-back playing right midfield and it goes to show the manager has been brave enough to put a young player in.

"He's just gone out there and produced it on the biggest occasion."

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