The Blues boss was comforted by a bright first half performance from his side at Goodison last night which helped them to a nervy 2-1 win over West Brom, but he knows that strengthening his squad before 11pm tonight could prove more difficult to achieve. Victory over the Baggies helped Everton close the gap on fourth-placed Tottenham to just one point, and Moyes will redouble his efforts to further boost his Champions Leagues hopes with new recruits today - even if missing out on Netherlands international Fer, whose move collapsed after talks with FC Twente broke-down yesterday, cost him valuable time. The Everton boss, who is busily pursuing other midfield reinforcements along with the possibility of a striker and cover at right-back, said:
“It’s very, very late and I don’t know if we’ll be doing anything.
“It was a situation where he (Fer) wasn’t our player but it’s right that we look after the boy. The boy’s a really good player and it just didn’t work. There’s reasons it didn’t work but the boy’s a really good player and we wish him well. “On this occasion we just couldn’t quite conclude the deal. There’s lot of things connected to signing a player; it can be the contract, the agent, the clubs or the medicals and all those things play a part and on this occasion some of them just didn’t come together.”
The Blues were helped to victory against Steve Clarke’s side by a superb performance from Leighton Baines, and his manager was duly impressed.
“I thought we played really well. He keeps getting better,” said the Scot.
“When teams try to stop him he tries to work on how he can alter doing things. He’s great for a manager because he wants to get better and keep improving. We’re very fortunate to have him here. “In the last couple of games I’ve thought he’s been needing another challenge and he’s got to rise to it a bit more and he’s done that. He’s picked himself up despite having a bit of trouble with his ankle which he has played through, and all credit to him. He’s got a lot of things going for him. He’s turning out to be as good a left back as there is.
“He misses no training and gets on with it. Bainesy is a great player to work with and a really intelligent footballer. I don’t know if I like his style of hair-dos but apart from that he’s alright!” The game saw two of Everton’s key men – Kevin Mirallas and Darron Gibson – return to action, something which also left Moyes feeling optimistic. He added:
“Kevin had some moments and we got Darron on so it was important to get them both back. It was a really difficult Goodison pitch, especially in the second half which could be a problem for us because it’s not playing well. I think in the end we’ve had a decent January. We’ve stuck at it and picked up points. We’ve not been as flowing as we’d have liked to have been at the times but if you look at the league there’s very little between the teams at the top and the bottom. Nobody is winning games at a canter.”