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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

The Case For The Defence

by Andy Lewis @efc_andylewis

David Moyes has called for a defensive improvement ahead of the trip to Chelsea.
The Blues have only kept one clean sheet so far this season – a stat the Everton boss admits has been concerning him.
“It is a worry because I think some of our better players are our defensive players,” he said.
“We have had a few lapses. We have got to try and do a bit better than we have done and we are looking at it.”
Everton’s good record at Stamford Bridge has seen them draw on their last five league visits – but they have had to score at least once on four of those five occasions, a stalemate in 2008 their only shutout in that sequence.
And while admitting the fact they haven’t lost at the home of the London high-fliers since 2006 provides a boost for his team, Moyes feels there must be a sense of realism about their approach to the game.
“It is always tough as they have so many good players all over the pitch who can hurt you," he said. "We need to make sure we are right from that point of view but then at the right moment we have to try and score.
“We go there with that positive attitude, thinking we have been here before and done it and that we don’t feel out of place in these sorts of games.
“But you have to remember that the games have always been incredibly tight – 1-0 or 1-1 – it is not as if we have ever run away with it and we always find it hard.
“Chelsea tend to have the majority of the possession, we try to stay in the game and try to nick something – but that is because of the quality of players they have got and it is a credit to our players that in the past they have been able to do that.
“I don’t think we can go there and say we will play our game and Chelsea you play your game because I think undoubtedly in the end the extra £400m they have spent will show.
“So we will go there and try to be hard to beat and try to get a result.”
Consecutive defeats against Manchester City and Liverpool this month provided the Toffees first double dose of league losses since November 2009.
Moyes, however, isn’t too concerned as he feels – particularly against Liverpool – there were extenuating circumstances.
“I was pleased with what we did at Man City for large parts,” he said. “And the Liverpool game is hard to judge because it hadn’t really settled down by the time the sending off came. We have got a good record against the top teams. We have got a particularly good record against Chelsea so we will try and continue that on Saturday.”

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