The Everton captain admitted that while off-the-field problems are a distraction, there's still plenty to be optimistic about within David Moyes's team.
"There feels as if there is a lot of negativity surrounding the place at the moment and everyone can feel it. I think it is important to say that there are a lot of good things happening here.
"We have got great foundations, great supporters and a set of players that have done really well these last three or four years.
"Supporters will say it is easy for me to talk about the spirit of the club but the spirit is what has set this club apart, going back to the days when Howard Kendall was manager and, before that, when Brian Labone was playing.
"Now we need that spirit more than ever. We have got a lot of good things going on and we can't let these things outside destabilise us.
"We all take responsibility and nothing off the pitch has interfered with our preparations. We had a great pre-season, everything was spot on. We didn't perform but the motivation is there for us. Our reputations are on the line and we have got to perform."
Original Source: Sky Sports
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