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

Fellaini Urged To Emulate Messi

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

David Moyes is urging Marouane Fellaini to adopt the temperament of football's greatest player, Lionel Messi.

The Everton manager wants his talismanic midfielder to shrug off the questionable tactics opposition players employ to hinder his influence on games.

Moyes cited Barcelona genius Messi as a prime example of a player who is regularly targeted by opposing players - but who fails to let it stifle his performances.

Lionel Messi

Asked if he believed Fellaini was singled out for special treatment, Moyes replied: "He definitely does.

"It is frustrating, but he has got good at handling it. If you are going to continually get kicked and pushed around, I say to him 'look at Lionel Messi'.

"He gets kicked every week. Everybody wants to kick him because it's the only way to stop him, but all he ever does is smile and get up and get on with it. I have told Felli to try and copy that."

Moyes admitted there was little he could do to influence the decisions officials make when assessing incidents involving Fellaini. But he insisted his angular midfielder must shrug off any sense of injustice and make teams pay with his footballing ability.

"You trust them (officials) and you expect them to go about their job the same for everybody. But he is (targeted). If you look at him, he has to take as many challenges as anybody. But I don't think he gets protected as well as when he is challenging somebody else.

"I don't think he will ever be as good as him, but in his temperament he should try to have the same as Lionel Messi who just gets on with it."

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