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David Moyes admits he is thoroughly enjoying watching his Everton team as he targets a return to European competition.
His side continued their fine start to the Premier League season as they eased to a 3-0 victory over Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday thanks to goals from Victor Anichebe, Kevin Mirallas and Marouane Fellaini.
Slow starts to recent campaigns have proved costly for the Merseyside club, but Everton's tally of three wins, a draw and a defeat from the first five games is a match for their start to the 2004-05 season, which ended in qualification for the Champions League.
They are also shaking off their tag as a limited, functional side; Mirallas's second goal at Swansea may be as good a team goal as will be seen this season. The move started with Phil Neville penned in by his own right-hand corner flag, with superb passes from Fellaini and Steven Pienaar allowing Mirallas to grab his first Premier League goal.
Moyes is finding his team a joy to watch on their current form, but is refusing to get carried away. When asked what he thought they could achieve this season, the Scot said: "Pushing for a European place, I think, is a realistic thing for Everton. The Champions League would probably be seen as unrealistic with the quality of the Premier League.
"I'm not a great optimist. I'm one of these ones who doesn't work that way. But I said to the players afterwards, 'I'm enjoying watching you play'.
"There were times at this point last season when I wouldn't have paid to watch us a couple of times. I would definitely pay to come and watch us now."
DAVID MOYES hailed Everton’s “brilliant” performance as they swept aside Swansea City to continue their impressive start to the new season.
Goals from Victor Anichebe, Kevin Mirallas and Marouane Fellaini gave the Blues a richly-deserved 3-0 victory at the Liberty Stadium, and leaves them in third place in the Premier League table.
And Moyes said he was delighted with his side’s display, as Everton dominated their highly-rated hosts from start to finish in South Wales.
“I thought we played brilliant football but I thought we did that on Monday night (against Newcastle) as well,” he said. “The result and the performance matched each other.
“We were fabulous right from the start. We were a little bit wasteful with some opportunities and that was the only downside, but in everything else we controlled the game. We had good movement and good play all round so I was delighted with how we played.
“In truth if we’d not come away with a good victory we would have been kicking ourselves.”
The result confirmed Everton’s best start to a season in six years, and leaves them rubbing shoulders with the Premier League’s big boys. The second half at the Liberty was played out to the sound of Evertonians chanting “We’re going to win the league”.
“That was great because you’ve not heard that very often at Everton,” said Moyes. “I think if we’d won in midweek, as we should have done, then we could quite easily have been mixing it with the big boys today.
“But having said that, we still are, and we hope to be come the end of the season.”
He added: “We’ve finished the season strongly in a lot of seasons. I think one of the few years we got off to a good start, we finished in the Champions League (season 2004-05), so we need to maintain that.
“I think for Everton, we will probably finish where most people predict us to at the start of the season.
“We will try and do that if we can, but if we can do better then great.”
Moyes also paid tribute to Anichebe, who netted for the second successive game, the first time the striker has managed such a feat in his career.
“Victor did well, but he did OK in midweek as well,” he said. “He maybe didn’t get the credit for his goal (against Newcastle) and for another one which should have been a goal.
“But overall the team are playing with a lot of confidence. Victor has come into a team like that and he has contributed well to it. He played well again today.”