Everton V Fulham at Goodison Park : Match Preview

27 April 2013 07:40
Everton V Fulham - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Fergie is the benchmark - Moyes

Everton manager David Moyes believes Manchester United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson remains the benchmark by which everyone should be judged - and why the top four has become more difficult to break into.

The Red Devils boss celebrated winning his 13th Premier League title after beating Aston Villa on Monday and despite being 71 shows no signs of slowing up.

Moyes feels his fellow Scot's hunger for trophies has raised the standard in the top flight - and made Everton's job of securing Champions League football even more difficult.

"It is an inspiration he keeps going, he doesn't show any signs of his health causing any problems," said the Everton boss.

"The world we live in now means people are having to work longer so why shouldn't it be football managers as well?

"People in this world are fitter and more healthy and Sir Alex certainly is so we all have to follow his lead and try to keep him up with him.

"Will I be able to? I don't know. Sir Alex might be a one-off.

"He has a battery which goes and goes by the look of it. I am not sure I could go that long."

The influx of money into clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea - trying to break United's dominance - has also undoubtedly made Moyes' job of finishing in the top four more difficult.

But the Scot is trying to keep everything in perspective and while their Champions League dreams were effectively ended by defeat at Sunderland last weekend as they are only six points adrift off fourth-placed Chelsea, who have a match in hand.

However, they are eight points better off than at this stage last season and already have the same tally with which they finished that campaign.

The target, however, is to find a way to replicate their only Champions League qualification of 2005.

"I don't know what it tells you about the Premier League but it tells me I have four games to get some more points," said Moyes, whose side face Fulham at Goodison Park - a ground at which the Cottagers have lost 12 and drawn one of their previous 13 visits.

"Progress is very important and we have to try to keep making progress.

"The year we qualified for the Champions League we had 61 points and we are only five points off that.

"Does that show you the Premier League has got harder, the teams at the top have got better?

"I am guessing it will be somewhere between 68 and 70 points to qualify this year so the bar has been raised all around.

"There are a lot of Evertonians wonder why Everton are not making the Champions League and Europa League - hopefully that is there to see."

Moyes is hopeful defender Phil Jagielka and midfielder Darron Gibson will be fit for the game.

Jagielka missed last weekend's defeat at Sunderland after aggravating an ankle problem while Gibson was substituted at half-time, although Moyes said his injury was not related to his long-term thigh problem.

Forward Victor Anichebe should be fit after complaining of a tight hamstring last week.

Meanwhile, on-loan defender Urby Emanuelson intends to make the most of Fulham's final four games of the season.

The AC Milan player has slowly produced some consistent displays for the Cottagers following his January transfer, to force his way into Martin Jol's starting XI.

With Fulham now safe from relegation ahead of the trip to Goodison, Dutchman Emanuelson, 26, hopes to continue to enjoy a run in the team before a decision is made on his long-term future.

"I am enjoying it here. London is a nice city and Fulham is a great football club - it is very warm, everybody is positive, everyone has helped me a lot," Emanuelson said on the club's official website, www.fulhamfc.com.

"Now I am finding my way, I am starting the matches so I am happy here and hopefully I can go on in the last four games of the season.

"I would like to get a goal and end the season on a good note and then we will see what happens in the summer.

"I just want to perform well and show everyone at Fulham my qualities.

"It is good to play here and it is a nice team. Also, the stadium and the fans are fantastic, so I just want to show them my quality."

The Cottagers expect to have winger Damien Duff back from a thigh injury.

Steve Sidwell begins the first of a four-match ban following his red card against Arsenal last weekend, while fellow midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong will be available having missed out against his parent club.

Defender Sascha Riether (ankle) is doubtful. Midfielders Mahamadou Diarra (knee), Ashkan Dejagah (ankle) and Simon Davies (hip) are sidelined.

Source: PA