Everton's Europa League clash against Sporting Lisbon 'cannot be a typical British game'

16 February 2010 01:20
While the Scot admits the victory over Carlo Ancelotti's Premier League leaders was an important psychological boost for his team after defeat in the Merseyside derby, he will not encourage his players to go for the jugular from the off against their Portuguese opponents.

'It cannot be a typical British game,' said the Everton manager. 'There are other aspects that come into European ties. We need to be more patient. The game will be played over three hours of football and that means it cannot be won right away. You have to make sure you are careful and do the right things.

 Related ArticlesMoyes: play-off for fourth Champions League spot flawedPlay-off to decide Champions League place?Whelan tells Premier League to address debt crisisLiverpool given Champions League lifelineMoyes shows signs of a top-class managerSport on television'It is the importance of understanding you cannot go and say we are going to go and win because you have to be concerned that the opposition do not score. I have probably changed [as a manager in Europe] in that way in the last few years. People might not want to hear that but the fact is you have to try and not go behind.'

Moyes will be able to call on Steven Pienaar, suspended for the Chelsea game after his dismissal at Anfield, tonight, as well as Mikel Arteta, the Basque playmaker continuing his recovery from almost a year out of the game through injury.

While Marouane Fellaini, Tony Hibbert and John Heitinga will all be missing, the Everton manager is hopeful that the presence of two of his most technically adept players will help counteract the European experience of Sporting, regular competitors in the Champions League.

'They have a big European history,' said Moyes. 'This will be nothing new to them. But I think having a cosmopolitan squad makes the European games not as fearful. We missed players like Mikel and Steven in the group stages because they help us retain possession.

'I think we are beginning to establish ourselves in Europe. That is why it would be disappointing if we were not able to make it again this year through the league. We are beginning to enjoy it and improve with it. As a football club, we have embraced the competition and gone in to every game trying to win and hoping to get through.'

Source: Telegraph