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DAVID MOYES has challenged Jermaine Beckford to put his stuttering start at Everton behind him by dumping his former club Scunthorpe out of the FA Cup.
Beckford has scored just three goals in 18 appearances since moving from Leeds to Goodison last summer.
The 27-year-old is highly regarded by Scunthorpe fans after netting eight times in 18 appearances while on loan from Leeds three years ago.
Moyes is urging Beckford to show his class against the Championship strugglers as Everton look to avoid an upset.
Beckford starts after helping Everton overcome Tottenham in a 2-1 victory in midweek.
Goodison boss Moyes said: “It takes time to settle.
“It took Leighton Baines time and it took Phil Jagielka time when they made the step up to the Premier League.
“It can be like that. What you have got to do when you make this step is pick up the level of training and the speed of the game.
"When you get your opportunities in the team you have to show what you can do.
“Jermaine did OK against Tottenham and was part of a winning team.”
Moyes has also warned his side against complacency.
Scunthorpe are three points adrift of safety after losing seven of their last eight league games.
Everton have saved their best performances for the big games this season, but Moyes has ordered his side not to let their standards slip against Scunthorpe.
He added: “I told the players after the Tottenham win that there was no resting and no slacking.
“We have not earned it over the season so far.
“It’s for the players to show that they have the right mentality and that they can do it in not just the big games.”
EVERTON have moved closer to a permanent deal for Azerbaijani wonderkid Araz Abdullayev – as they missed out on another of their January midfield targets.
The Toffees have signed the 18-year-old midfielder subject to him being granted a work permit, although the youngest player to be capped by his country will remain at his club, Neftchi, for most of the season.
Abdullayev shot to the attention of a host of European sides after scoring a spectacular goal against Scotland Under-21s in March last year, and has long been linked with a move to Merseyside.
When he arrives at Goodison later this year he will train with the first team, while club officials apply for his work permit.
The deal will be good news for David Moyes’ investment in youth, although another more immediate potential signing, Tottenham midfielder David Bentley, yesterday joined Birmingham City on loan instead.
Moyes had hoped to persuade the right-sided midfielder to seek first team football at Everton, but the Londoner has been lured by the financial terms on offer in the Midlands.
The Everton boss also said he has yet to receive any bids for striker Yakubu, despite reports that Championship club Leicester City are tracking him.
The forward has been the subject of media speculation linking him with a move away from Goodison during the current transfer window.
But Moyes confirmed during his Friday press conference that he had not received any bids for the Nigerian.
Yakubu has appeared 15 times for the Toffees this season, scoring the winning goal in the win over Stoke City in October.
Meanwhile, Louis Saha is hoping to resume his new partnership with Jermaine Beckford as the two are in line to start against Scunthorpe United in the FA Cup third round tie today.
The pair linked up well during the victory against Spurs on Wednesday and Saha said: He said: “It was really enjoyable (playing with Beckford).
“It makes it easier for me as he is always moving – it makes things happen and makes more space for me.
“Straight away he went off and pulled defenders away and gave me space to hit the ball (for the goal). If he had not been there I would have been closed down and maybe not have scored.
“I am confident that with two up it puts more pressure on the defence and gives us more chances to do damage to the defence. It makes it much harder for them.
“I felt more comfortable the way we started the game, we were really positive and any striker wants to be involved in attacking football. Everyone was in tune and it was a pleasure to be a part of the performance.”
Everton can confirm that Araz Abdullayev is set to arrive at Goodison Park before the end of the current season – but only to train.
David Moyes has revealed he warned his Everton players immediately after their great win over Tottenham that they must not slip up at Scunthorpe.
The Blues boss delivered his blunt message in the dressing room on Wednesday night because he was worried they might get carried away.
Despite Scunthorpe being bottom of the Championship with the worst home record in the top five divisions, Moyes knows from previous upsets against Shrewsbury and Oldham what can happen if his players are not switched on.
“I’ve already told the players that at the end of the Tottenham game,” he said.
“Normally I don’t like to talk about the next game, and as a player that’s not what you want to hear, but I said there are no gimmes here for us. There’s no resting or slacking because we’ve not earned it over the season so far.
“We have to go there and try and do the same. It’s for the players to show they have the right mentality and that they can do it in the big games as well.
“I felt I needed to say that because it was such a good victory, I didn’t want the players to think this game didn’t carry any importance so I made the point straight after the Tottenham game.
“I know Scunthorpe are having a bit of a struggle at the minute, but I could tell you the stories about Shrewsbury Town and other games we have lost in the cup so I never take any game lightly, and I would never take Scunthorpe lightly. Mentally we have to be right.”
Jermaine Beckford will get a warm welcome from the Iron fans after scoring the goals to help them win promotion to the Championship in 2007.
He has not been so prolific at Everton, but Moyes has revealed the former Leeds hitman will start in what will be a strong line-up.
“Jermaine will start tomorrow,” he said. “I think he did OK against Tottenham. He was part of a winning team so he will be part of it tomorrow.”