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Everton FC: David Moyes hopes return of injured forwards can bring back Champions League form
David Moyes admits securing Champions League football will be difficult given the size of Everton’s squad – but hopes the return to fitness of a pair of injured forwards can help turn draws into wins.
The Blues returned from the Etihad Stadium with a well-deserved point on Saturday afternoon as Marouane Fellaini scored his eighth goal of the season to put them in front against Manchester City. City were awarded a hotly-disputed penalty just before half-time which Carlos Tevez converted to level the game and though the reigning Premier League champions came out strong in the second half, Everton repelled the attacks and had chances to snatch the win late on. The draw, the Blues eighth of the season and third consecutive 1-1, keeps them sixth in the table and just three points outside the top four. But Moyes concedes that breaking back into the Champions League qualifying positions is going to be tough.
“I think it will be hard for us over the piece, it’ll be a big thing for us to be there,” he said.
“I think when we play over 90 minutes against someone we’ve got a good chance.
“Can we do it over 38 games? We’re missing Kevin Mirallas, Victor Anichebe and we’re just shot of other forward options at times to maybe win us the games, that’s why we’re always had the draws.
“When I looked at their team today and what they have available to them we always knew it was going to be hard, we started with the same XI as we had in midweek so it’s not as if we have been able to make too many changes but we clicked right into where we were against Arsenal and I thought we played well again today.
“You would have to expect Man City to have some of the game and they certainly did that after half-time but I thought we had our fair share of the game before that.”
“I don’t want to be a manager who keeps saying we’re playing well and not winning because I’d rather be a manager whose team weren’t playing well and winning it but the facts are there to see and have to hope that good performances lead to good results.”
Fellaini will again grab much of the attention after another excellent display – and another goal. The towering Belgian’s best Premier League season in front of goal saw him strike nine times during his first campaign in England but Moyes says the 25-year-old is in the mood to better that.
“He’s getting into positions to score,” said the Everton manager.
“I thought he did a good job for us, the longer it went on you could see it got tougher, he ran out of energy, we were struggling to keep it going right to the end but the boys are doing a good job. “If he’d scored ten we’d have been delighted with that.
“We haven’t set him any target but he’s got a wee bit between his teeth at the moment, is enjoying scoring the goals and I think he’s actually enjoying playing the position he is in now.
“There were maybe questions about it but I think now he’s realising I’m getting recognised for it now.
“Steven Pienaar is playing much better and is back in form for us now so we’re in a position where hopefully we can start getting three points instead of one now.”
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