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Southampton (A) Sat 20 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Moyes Wants Early Cheer

@Everton

David Moyes wants Evertonians to celebrate Christmas with another positive result against West Ham United.

The Blues are unbeaten in their last nine matches against the Hammers and have taken maximum points on three of their last four visits to Upton Park.

However, Moyes is fully aware of the task his team face as Saturday’s opponents have already brushed aside Aston Villa, Fulham and Chelsea on their home patch this season.

Indeed, under Sam Allardyce’s ‘hard to beat’ mantra, West Ham have made a seamless transition from the Championship to the Premier League and sit comfortably in mid-table as the halfway point in the season approaches.

But Moyes says his own team's resilience – just two defeats in 17 league matches – makes them believe that points can be gained from their trip to the capital.

“It will be a tough game. We've been there a few times and had some decent results so we'll be looking for more of the same,” said the Everton boss.

“They look like a mid-table side and if I said that, Sam [Allardyce] would be delighted because when you come up the aim is to make sure you stay up.

“I do think they look like a team that are closer to the top end of the league rather than the bottom end.”

Moyes added: “I think we have a strong team and it shows the character that the players have got - they have been determined not to lose. We’ve tried to add a little bit [of emphasis] since the start of the season on winning, and in the main we have.

“The last eight or nine weeks have been harder and we have drawn a lot of games. There are a couple we should have won and a couple where we have been happy with a draw.

“So we could have picked up a few more points but we are in a pretty healthy position compared to where we have been in recent seasons.”

Moyes and Allardyce have met previously on 21 occasions as managers, first dating back to 1999 when the two were in command at Preston North End and Notts County respectively.

Whilst Moyes has been manager at Goodison Park, Allardyce has managed Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers.

Saturday, however, will be the first time that Everton have faced the Hammers since the 58-year-old former centre-half has been at the Upton Park helm.

Moyes continued: "Big Sam has done a great job wherever he has managed in the Premier League and is probably the most experienced manager outside of Sir Alex [Ferguson] and Arsene [Wenger].

“A lot of the time he doesn’t get the credit he deserves, but he gets his teams winning and in the right part of the league.

“He has had a good track record wherever he has been.”

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