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Everton V West Brom at Goodison Park : Match Preview
Published : 31 Mar 2012 08:10:22
Moyes all smiles
Everton's recent performances have put a smile on the face of manager David Moyes, who admits he has been lifted by their results. The Toffees have lost just twice in 14 matches and having won at Swansea last weekend they booked an FA Cup semi-final slot against Liverpool with a midweek win over Sunderland. There has been a noticeable upturn since January and Moyes has even allowed himself to enjoy their last two games. "Certainly Swansea and Sunderland we played really well and hopefully the team have come into good form at the right time," said the Scot. "We have been on a decent run without it being great so there have been good signs. "It has been a good period for us. Things have been getting a little bit better but I've not always been delighted. "We have won some big games and I still didn't think we had played as well as I would have liked but the last couple of games I've been pleased I could come away and say `I'm having a bit of that'. "From that point of view I have enjoyed the performances, obviously the results have been great. "When you are a manager and you work and don't get many results, and have to come and speak to the media and explain how it didn't go so well, it is difficult. "You put in the work and the hours to try to get the results and I am not putting in any more work now than 12 weeks ago. "But if you don't get the results or the players are not performing then that is why you see me a bit miserable quite often because I want us to do well. "But when you play well as we have done recently, it lifts the manager." Moyes is pleasantly surprised the signings he made in January have paid off probably better than he expected. He signed Nikica Jelavic for £5.5million from Rangers and Darron Gibson from Manchester United for £500,000, bringing Steven Pienaar back to the club on loan from Tottenham and also Landon Donovan on a short-term deal from Los Angeles Galaxy. "I have never been a fan of signing people in January because I feel you don't get a good deal but we needed to do it," said the Toffees boss. Everton host West Brom, having lost to the Baggies just twice at home in the league in the last 56 years. The Toffees won at the Hawthorns on New Year's Day and Moyes thinks that possibly marked a turning point. "It was a really tight game but one we needed to win," he said. "They are always hard to break down, difficult to beat, really well drilled and organised."
Roy Hodgson believes West Brom should use Everton as a yardstick for what can be achieved should they become an established Barclays Premier League club. Head coach Hodgson has helped the Baggies make virtually sure of a third successive season of top-flight football. They will go into the Goodison Park clash 11 points clear of the relegation zone and targeting a finishing position in the top half of the table. Hodgson said: "Everton are the team that teams like ourselves need to have in our sights as a guide as to what is required, to not only stay in this league but to consistently perform well in the league. "They are always the team just below the big-money teams, if we can call them that. Everton are always making life uncomfortable for them. "That's what I'd like to see us become if we can continue in the Premier League for some seasons to come." Albion have collected only one point from the last three games but Hodgson is adamant complacency has not crept into his squad now they are well clear of the bottom three. He said: "We haven't lost through complacency. We lost at Manchester United because we played a better team and played with 10 men for a large portion of the game. "There are eight games to go, I don't think we will suffer from complacency. "The question is 'have we got the quality to climb up that table and get ourselves nearer the top than the bottom?' and that remains to be seen. "But I don't doubt the players' desire to do that." Hodgson has been linked with a trio of players in the Rangers duo of Allan McGregor and Steven Naismith plus Dnipro midfielder Derek Boateng but is keeping his cards close to his chest. Hodgson will be forced into one change, with midfielder James Morrison likely to miss the rest of the season with a knee ligament injury. Paul Scharner and Graham Dorrans are in contention to replace the Scotland international. end
Everton V West Brom - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game live.