Moyes: As Tough As It Gets
Manager preparing for Sunday's trip to Old Trafford.
David Moyes says Everton’s recent results against Manchester United will count for nothing when the two clubs meet this weekend.
The Blues have taken four points from their last two fixtures against the current Premier League leaders, including an unforgettable season-opening win at Goodison Park in August.
An equally as memorable result came at Old Trafford just four months earlier when Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar both struck late on to rescue a point in a thrilling 4-4 draw.
While those scorelines are evidence Everton are capable of causing more problems for Sir Alex Ferguson’s team, Moyes acknowledged Sunday’s game is as challenging as it gets.
“I don’t know if you can look at our recent results against them because over the years Manchester United have taken an awful lot of points off us,” Moyes told evertontv.
“Obviously the game this year we had a good victory and we had a hard draw there last year, but if you look over time they have taken far more points off us than we have off them.
“It’s a real tough game for us. I don’t think anybody would think it is anything less than that.”
No less than 12 Everton first-team players were away with their respective nations in midweek, including Bryan Oviedo and Tim Howard, who had long distance trips to Panama and Honduras for their World Cup qualifiers with Costa Rica and USA respectively.
“It’s difficult but it’s the same for Manchester United,” Moyes added, when prompted on how the international fixtures can affect preparations.
“They have a club which is full of international players, so they will have the same problems that we have. It’s just part and parcel of having a midweek game.”
Last weekend’s hero, Marouane Fellaini, was one of the Blues’ international contingent, despite not featuring for Belgium in their friendly against Slovakia in Bruges.
The 25-year-old’s double against Aston Villa a week ago brought his first league goals since his strike against Manchester City at the start of December.
And Moyes admits it’s a timely boost to have the midfielder, who has notched in the last two matches against Manchester United, rediscovering his goalscoring touch.
“I think it was good that he got his goals,” Moyes continued. “He has just been a little bit under [his best level] in the last month or so but hopefully those goals will give him a little bit of confidence.
“He hadn’t scored for a while, so let’s hope he goes on a run of scoring some goals.”