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Mixed zone: Captain Elphick declares himself fit to face Watford, whilst Francis & Distin reflect on Everton

Posted: Mon 22 Feb 2016
Author: afcb.co.uk

After the defeat to Everton in the FA Cup, captain Tommy Elphick, Simon Francis and Sylvain Distin spoke to the press in the mixed zone.

Elphick on his fitness, starting against Watford and focusing on the Barclays Premier League
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On his fitness: "I felt fine and felt good. Hopefully that's going to bring me on a little bit more and give me a little bit more pace and sharpness.

"I think that's put me spot on now for the coming games so hopefully the gaffer will start considering me for the league now."

On the performance: "It was a decent enough performance, I thought it was a good cup tie. It just goes to show that key moments in games swing them. I think that if we scored the penalty and taken another couple of chances it would have given us a better platform to go on and win the game."

On focusing on the league: "We've got some key games coming up but I don't see the FA Cup as a distraction so it's disappointing for the club to go out. A lot of players gave some good performances to give the manager something to think about for the league."

Distin on the Everton fans, getting man of the match against Lukaku and never losing focus on the Premier League
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On the Everton fans: "I spent six years over there and I loved every moment. I think it's because of my age I have a lot of things to say and an opinion. On social media we had a few disagreements but that doesn't mean I don't respect them or they don't respect me. I have no problem with the fans."

On facing Lukaku: "It's a good challenge, I play football because of those type of challenges so playing against a player like him every week is better than having an easy game. It's great and when it goes your way you feel really proud."

On focusing on the Premier League: "We were always focused on the league and the FA Cup. There were a lot of changes tonight (in the FA Cup) but that doesn't mean that we didn't care. We are as focused on the league as we were before, it's not going to change anything."

Francis on the performance, conceding from a deflection and confidence levels in the team
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On the game: "It was (a game of small margins). That's probably been the story of the past few games that we've lost. Goals change games obviously we know that. To concede from a deflection after we defended well, especially first half, limiting them to few chances, it's hard to take. We've got to bounce back now and the focus is back onto the league."

On confidence levels in the camp: "When we are out on the training ground and in games, we believe in ourselves.

"We've had setbacks in every division that I've played in with this club, we've lost games but we've always bounced back. I thought we showed a lot of quality tonight. It shows good signs for the coming weeks."

Words and Interviews by Luke Hastings