Tony Hibbert admits Landon Donovanís loan let down is a blow but vows EFC are still on the up

TONY Hibbert has admitted the disappointment in the Everton camp at Landon Donovanís decision not to return on loan Ė but insisted the Blues are still ready to enjoy a winning Christmas.

The defender accepts that Goodison Park will miss the added spark that the USA star provided last January, although he respects Donovanís decision to spend his pre-season resting in America instead.

Hibbert, 29, who could be called upon to resume his occasional role as an emergency centre back against Birmingham City on Boxing Day due to Phil Jagielkaís injury, believes Everton are ready to turn a corner Ė with or without the LA Galaxy star.

He said: ďIt was always up to Landon. It was his decision, and he was entitled to decide against it. Itís good that he was interested in coming to us anyway, because heís a top player.

ďThere is disappointment of course because weíve missed out on a world class player, but there will probably be loads of players we will look at, and hopefully bring in a couple next month.

ďThis season the league is very tight as we know, and a couple of wins will throw you right up there. The belief among the lads is still the best Iíve ever seen.

ďWeíre a good group and have great individuals, so itís only a matter of time before the results change for us. Itís got to, because the team weíve got now is one of the best Iíve seen here.Ē
Hibbert said that a flipside of Donovanís decision will be that Seamus Coleman can carry on starring in his new right midfield role.

He said: ďHe can only get better and better. Iím sure he never thought himself he would end up playing right wing, but the manager has given him a chance and he has taken it. I donít see why he canít hold his place, because heís playing out of his skin. Heís still young, and learning all the time but he has amazing potential.Ē

Meanwhile, Leighton Baines has insisted he has no intention of quitting Everton, despite rumours linking him with a £9m move to Bayern Munich.

The defender is happy at Goodison Park, and only signed a new five-year deal with the Blues this summer.

He has been on top form this season, and was subsequently scouted by the Bundesliga giants on a number of occasions, but remains intent on success with Everton in the Premier League, and resurrecting his England career.

Baines joined the Toffees from Wigan Athletic for £6m in 2007, and has established himself as the second best left back in England behind only Ashley Cole.