Everton boss David Moyes hailed Australian talisman Tim Cahill as a born-again player on Thursday.
Cahill grabbed his ninth goal of the season in Monday's 2-1 win at Manchester City, topping an overall display which prompted goalkeeper Tim Howard to describe him as a Goodison Park legend. Moyes was equally forthcoming in his praise for a player who will leave for the Asian Cup in Qatar in the first week of January.
"In my time here we have not had an awful lot to shout about but I think Tim Cahill is one who could stand up and say he has really played his part in this period," said Moyes, whose side host Birmingham on Sunday and visit West Ham two days later.
"A few weeks ago I saw a drop in his energy and I was a bit worried about him. But the other night he was back to his best. He was back to being young, youthful, working really hard for the team. He always gives his full self and because of that he is appreciated."
Meanwhile, Moyes is keen to tie midfielder Steven Pienaar to a new contract. The South African is in the final year of his present deal and has persistently been linked with other clubs.
That has led to suggestions Moyes may sell next month to avoid losing him for nothing but the player was this week quoted saying how much he likes Everton.
Moyes said: "I have always said if Steven wants to stay we would be delighted to help him. I don't think anyone at Everton can question Steven's attitude or desire in the games. We have got to hope between now and the end of the season we can make something else happen."