EVERTON will face Swansea today fuelled by optimism from their vibrant displays so far this season – not resentment based on botched refereeing decisions, insisted David Moyes.
The Blues boss said he was buoyed by watching DVD footage of his side’s first-half performance during their draw with Newcastle on Monday, and believes that ironing out defensive errors will ensure they can recapture their momentum.
Moyes is mulling over how to deploy his attackers at the Liberty Stadium today with Nikica Jelavic missing because of a shin injury, but the options he has in reserve also give him cause for cheer.
He said: “It’s frustrating because it’s their (the officials’) job to get it right and they didn’t get it right but looking back at the DVD of how we played throughout the night was very good. We’ve been pleased with our form, with the performances of the players.
“We could have won it and there’s no-one else to blame but ourselves because we were 2-1 up with a few minutes to go and we didn’t see it out. We have to play the games for 90 minutes and win them ourselves.
“Jela will miss out but we have other options down the middle (in attack) for Swansea. We can play Naismith through there, we can play Mirallas through there, we can play Anichebe through there.
“They can all play different roles. It means if I named a team with all of them in, it would be hard to guess where they would play as they can all play in different positions.
“That gives us an air of unpredictability at times.”
One aspect of his team which observers might presume would be a permanent fixture is the left-sided combination of Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar, but Moyes insists he will not allow his formations to become easy for opponents to figure out.
“The combination between Baines and Pienaar is excellent, but I’m going to mix it up this season,” he said. “There will be times when Steven in the centre or I put Mirallas on the left because I don’t want our team to become too predictable.”
Alongside Jelavic, Everton also have an injury doubt over Tony Hibbert and Darron Gibson remains out with a thigh strain.
Moyes said his search for reinforcements in central midfield is ongoing, and former German international Thomas Hitzlsperger remains an option after training at Finch Farm last week.
“He has trained for a few days this week,” said Moyes - who also ruled out a move for Owen Hargreves.
“Thomas is here for a while and we will have a look and see where we think he is at. He’s had quite a few injuries and not done an awful lot of training.
“There’s not many good ones kicking around. Those that are probably won’t be the right ones. We are still trying to look for one. We are short of a midfield player and it would be ideal to get one in.”
Extra cover for goalkeeper Tim Howard remains another priority, although Everton have missed out on former Celtic and Fiorentina keeper Artur Boruc, 32, who is in talks with another club after training with the Blues.
Moyes said: “I feel we need another goalkeeper because if we lose one then we’d be really short, but it’s not that easy.”
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