Tim Howard feels Everton will miss midfielder Steven Pienaar against Liverpool

Steven Pienaar: Everton midfielder will miss the derby against Liverpool due to suspension

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Tim Howard admits Steven Pienaar will be a huge loss for the Merseyside derby, but feels Everton have players capable of replacing the midfielder.

Pienaar will be suspended for Sunday's game against Liverpool after being sent off in the 1-1 draw at Queens Park Rangers after picking up two yellow cards.

Everton have struggled for strength in depth in recent seasons, but Howard feels the club now have options able to compensate for the absence of a player of Pienaar's calibre.

"Missing Steven Pienaar through suspension is still a huge loss but we have gotten much better," Howard told the club's official website. "Guys are going to have to fill in that role and hopefully fill in a positive way.

"He's a big miss but we will get on with it, have a good week of training and figure out the system we want to attack them with and someone is going to have to fill in."

USA international Howard praised the defensive qualities shown by Everton against QPR once Pienaar had been sent off and was happy with a point.

"I thought in the first half the defence was fantastic, they were really strong and powerful in the air. In the second half we had to be, it was backs to the wall stuff," he added.

"At the point of the sending off we would have taken the draw - we had to dig in and the early goal hurt. It was preventable but in the end I thought we played well and it felt like a good point.

"No matter how confident we are going forward, I don't think we can ever lose that 'roll up your sleeves and fight for the team' spirit that we are known for. If you get away from that then the rest of it doesn't matter."