David Moyes has spoken of his pride at reaching 500 games as Everton manager – but hopes the pinnacle of his tenure still lies ahead.
The Blues boss will achieve the landmark on Saturday when he sends his side out for an FA Cup fourth round tie against Bolton Wanderers.
Only Harry Catterick and Howard Kendall have taken charge of more matches at the Club than Moyes, who was appointed to the Goodison Park hot-seat in March 2002.
“It’s amazing that some people have got a thousand games at one club – that is some achievement,” said Moyes. “500 is not a bad number when you see how people get rid of their managers so quickly nowadays.
“Hopefully the real highlights are still to come – they are the ones I’m looking forward to.”
Asked to reflect on some of his best moments to date, Moyes added: “I’ve enjoyed a lot of times at Everton. My first game was a great day, scoring in the opening minute [when David Unsworth netted against Fulham].
“Since then we have qualified for the Champions League and in that year we had to beat Manchester United and Newcastle in the run-in, so that stands out.
“There’s maybe the semi-final of the FA Cup [against Manchester United in 2009], albeit we didn’t win the final. Maybe there aren’t enough trophies at the end of it but certainly some good highlights.
“The Fiorentina game was a great night as well. There have been many and it’s difficult to pick one out.”
Moyes’ search for silverware continues this weekend with a place in the last 16 on offer to Saturday’s victors.
The Blues have come close to getting their hands on the trophy during Moyes’ reign, most recently last season when they were eliminated in the semi-finals by cross-city neighbours Liverpool.
Naming a strong line-up for the third round meeting with Cheltenham earlier this month was a statement of Moyes’ intent as far as this season’s competition goes and he admits his team have orders to go all out in their pursuit of glory.
“I think we have always gone for it but talk is cheap – you have to do it,” he said. “I’ve said to the players that we want to try and win the FA Cup and it’s down to us to try to make that happen.”