Martinez tips hat to Distin

Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes Sylvain Distin can continue to flourish at Goodison Park for many years.

Distin's contract expires at the end of the season but it seems likely he will

have his deal extended, such is Martinez's admiration for the 35-year-old defender.

"I'm proud to have a player like Sylvain Distin representing Everton because he has got incredible standards," Martinez told the club's website.

"All we need to do is carry on doing the same thing and then at the end of the season football gives you the reward that you put in as a professional.

"When you get in a situation like Sylvain's, it's not the manager making decisions, it's football.

"Sylvain has been an incredible performer this season. I wouldn't say he has just carried on where he left off last season, he has stepped up and gone to a different level.

"He has always been paramount in our defensive duties but now he is very important in our style of play and the distribution that he brings to the team.

"Age becomes a number. Sylvain looks after himself - he is always the last man out at Finch Farm and he could play for a long, long time.

"The number becomes experience in football and it can be used to your advantage.

"We need to enjoy this player who is a true ambassador of our football club."