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What The Papers Say - 30 March

Coverage in Saturday's papers ahead of Stoke's visit to Goodison.

What The Papers Say - 30 March

The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.

Liverpool Echo



HIS FUTURE, as ever, remained the talking point - but David Moyes insists the most pressing questions will be answered on the pitch today.

Answering the usual queries about his contract impasse ahead of this evening’s televised clash with Stoke City, the Blues boss wanted to emphasise that the truly pertinent matter is another Premier League victory.

At the moment everything seems to be intertwined with the Scots’ fate, and three points from the clash with the Potters would push Everton further towards the prize of European football which would, of course, also help make up his mind.

A repeat of the last time out - that stirring victory over Manchester City at Goodison a fortnight ago - would be the perfect way to do it.

“It does seem a long time ago, a couple of weeks is a long time in football but it was a really good performance,” says Moyes.

“We have had a couple of very good performances this year and that was certainly up there.

“It was what we needed after the Wigan game but the Man City game has gone now and we now have to do well against Stoke City.”

Stoke visit Goodison amid a poor run in which they have won just one of their last 11 games.

Moyes continued: “We know Stoke are hard to beat. Their record at this time isn’t great but they tend not to concede too many goals.

“Whenever we have played them it has been close. We have had a lot of the ball but never been able to break them down.

“We have always had hard games against Stoke, as have most teams in the Premier League. I won’t expect it to be any different.”

The conjecture about Moyes’s future continues unabated.

But while he admits his preference to wait until the summer before deciding on a new contract is not ideal for the club, he hopes it is not asking too much.

“I speak to close friends about my situation, but I think it's something you get on with,” he says. “I think it's right, I think everybody knows that ideally a decision will be made at the end of the season and that will be the time because we will see where we finish and where we go.

“By that time I hope to have a clearer picture of what will happen and I wouldn't have thought that would be too much to ask for really.

“I've been here 11 years, and I think the club have now come out and say they're happy with that, they're happy with the situation and we've been talking regularly.

“I can see why some people might say by waiting I might be putting Everton at a disadvantage, but I can answer that in a couple of ways.”

Bill Kenwright said on Thursday that he has already had to deter opportunistic applicants for the Goodison hot-seat, and Moyes does not believe his delaying tactics would have any effect on whether the club were able to get a possible replacement in the summer.

“I could say, you can do that, but it would mean going to get a manager from another club just now, if that's what you're going to do,” he says.

“You'd need to know you can go and get another manager if you were going to change that round.

“Are the decisions really that pressing? All the plans we are putting in are for next season. You would need to know exactly your budget and figures regarding spending, so you know what players you are looking to buy for next season.

“That has not been confirmed completely, I would also say anybody who is going into the last year of their contract, then are you going to write that off then?

“You know, if that's the case, then every manager who goes into the last year of their contract then it won't mean much because every supporter under those circumstances will think the worst really.

“What we have got to make sure is we achieve what we are capable of. I know what we are capable of, we have a really good squad, a small squad but one that is getting older and we need to replace that and change it around.”

Moyes does not believe the future of star-man Fellaini - who has been linked with a move away from Goodison in the summer - will effect his potential transfer budget if he decided to stay.

“The situation doesn't really depend on Marouane's situation, that is separate,” he says. “Let's face it, who knows what will happen, who knows if he will go or not. You can't work on that, can you.

“I am always at games all the time looking at players, we are always out with an idea of where we are going it's always been like that. If people are questioning then it's always been like that over the last five years, so how have we done it the last few years?

“We've had very little money over the last five years and it's been very limited so we've had to look at it that way where we've never really known what we've had in the summer anyway.”

Asked if he felt the Everton faithful want him to stay in charge, Moyes was less strident.

“Yes, I feel wanted at times,” he concedes. “But at times maybe folk have looked at it and thought maybe we're ready for a change. Football supporters are entitled to that, I've been a football supporter myself and I know what it's like.

“It's very unusual now to be in a job a long time. I've been in the job 11 years. It's something I think football supporters are sometimes the ones who want the change. But I've got to say there's been good stability at Everton, and they have quite a lot of value on the pitch.

“I'm just saying it, I've got to do what's right, and I'll do what's right for Everton (even if some fans want a change) that's the big thing.”

Liverpool Echo



PETER Crouch is targeting an improved goalscoring return over the remainder of the season to help Stoke City pull away from the Premier League danger zone.

A barren run of form, which has culminated in just a single victory in 11 games, has left the Potters nervously looking over their shoulders and threatening hopes of finishing in the top half of the table for the first time.

England striker Crouch believes the side are more than capable of turning the tide as they prepare to face Everton this weekend, and has highlighted the importance of hitting the back of the net.

Crouch has just one goal to show for his last 24 league and cup appearances for Stoke and said: “From a personal point of view, I should be scoring more goals; I know that, but we also know that as a team we need to be scoring more goals.

“We are going through a tough spell at the moment, whereby chances aren’t really being created thick and fast, so it isn’t easy.

“You just have to keep going though, and keep waiting for those breaks to come. Apart from the lack of goals, I don’t think I have done too badly, but as a striker, you are obviously judged upon the amount of goals you score.

“I certainly have confidence in my own ability.”

Liverpool Echo



DAVID MOYES believes Everton’s future would be best served if he chose to stay – but he will only commit when he sees proof he has the finances to take the club forward.

Moyes – who insists he is not interested in taking a Pep Guardiola-style sabbatical after his Goodison contract expires in June – revealed talks with chairman Bill Kenwright aimed at securing a new deal have progressed recently.

But the Scot admitted his decision will ultimately hinge on whether the Blues board can provide the funds for him to refresh an ageing squad.

The Blues boss was responding to questions in the wake of Kenwright’s interview with Sky sports during which the theatre impresario said he is still hopeful the man he appointed in 2002 will remain in charge next season.

Kenwright also said Moyes knows his potential summer transfer budget, although his manager insists he needs more details.

He said: “If people say the best thing for Everton Football Club would be that I stay, then I would agree – I genuinely believe that as well.

“But I have to make sure that Everton has the best opportunity to try and continue where they are and push on from where they are.

“I’ve been speaking to the chairman for three or four months, it’s been moving along, and all the things I’m doing are for the best of Everton, that’s what I’m trying to do, make the right decision for Everton.

“I think we are making progress, there’s never any doubt, but what I mean is, I’m waiting on some information coming back to me and we’ll talk again when we get all that information.

“I’ve been given some indication of budget, but I’ve not been given the breakdown of it.

“I can’t say whether that will be enough until I get the breakdown and see how it will all work.

“So anything I do with my decision will only be done for the best of Everton, I can tell you that. I would never do anything in any way that would have an adverse effect on Everton.”

Some reports had suggested Moyes may take a break from football if the right job offer did not arrive in the summer.

“I’m not even 50 yet, so of course I would say that I still have the hunger,” he said. “Having a year out is not in my plans, I either stay or go to another job. They are the options I’ll consider, but I am not planning to have time out.

“It may be that I’ll be in a position where I am out of work if I chose not to stay here at Everton for instance, because I have not got a job to go to.

“I am not planning to take any more than my summer holidays at this moment in time.”

Daily Express



DAVID MOYES believes he is acting in the best interests of Everton as he waits for the final budget figures that will determine whether he will be the manager overhauling the club’s “small and ageing” squad.

He insists he has earned the right to delay a decision on his future until the end of the season but intimated progress has been made during talks with chairman and owner Bill Kenwright.

Kenwright has outlined Everton’s transfer budget to Moyes during a series of meetings and now the fine details need to be resolved before the Scot either signs an extension to his deal, which expires in June, or walks away after 11 years.

“All the things I’m doing are for the best for Everton,” said Moyes.

“We are making progress. I’m waiting on some information coming back to me and we’ll talk again when we get all that information. I’ve been given some indication of budget, but I’ve not been given the breakdown of it.

“We have a really good squad, a small squad but one that is getting older and we need to replace that and change it around.”

Everton host Stoke today with a minority among both sets of fans becoming restless with the men in charge.

Tony Pulis, who has spent £99million and recouped £13.3m since leading Stoke to promotion in 2008, has brushed off criticism.

Moyes, who has spent £61.5m and brought in £71.5m over the same length of time, maintained he would not turn his back on football if he leaves Everton. “A sabbatical is not in my thoughts,” he said. “I either stay or go to another job.”

Stoke boss Pulis, meanwhile, believes Michael Owen is facing the most difficult two months of his life as he prepares to retire at the end of the season.

The former England striker, 33, is now deciding what to do next, with options of a coaching career, his own agency or media work in the offing.

Pulis said: “Whatever form he picks, he will find it difficult to get away from it initially. It will be the biggest couple of months of his life in that respect.”

Daily Mail



David Moyes has dismissed claims he is letting his Everton contract run down so he can follow Pep Guardiola’s lead and take a sabbatical.

Ahead of his side’s clash with Stoke City, the Everton manager gave a subtle hint that he might yet extend his 11-year stay at Goodison Park after revealing he has held discussions with chairman Bill Kenwright that are 'making progress'.

Moyes has maintained that talks over a new deal will not take place until this campaign has reached a conclusion. Some have suggested Moyes needs a new challenge but one scenario he demolished on Friday was the fact he is preparing to take a break from the game.

‘I’m not even 50 yet, so of course I would say I still have the hunger (for this job),’ said Moyes. ‘If you need evidence of that, then you only have to watch (how I was during) the Manchester City game a couple of weeks ago.

‘Having a year out is not in my plans. A sabbatical is not in my thoughts. I either stay or go to another job. They are the options I’ll consider, but I am not planning to have time out. It may be that I will be in a position where I am out of work, if I chose not to stay here at Everton.

‘I have not got (another) job to go to. I am not planning to take any more than my summer holidays. I’ve got to say football management comes with its own stresses and it’s a big job, but I think I’m too young to have time out.’

There is no suggestion that Moyes is allowing things to drift towards a natural conclusion and he is already making plans for next year, as he recognises that Everton’s squad will need refreshing. Talks with Chairman Bill Kenwright on how the necessary changes are made will be key.

‘I’ve been speaking to the chairman for three or four months and it has been moving along,’ said Moyes. ‘All the things I’m doing are for the best of Everton; that’s what I’m trying to do – make the right decision for Everton.

There is no suggestion that Moyes is allowing things to drift towards a natural conclusion and he is already making plans for next year, as he recognises that Everton’s squad will need refreshing. Talks with Chairman Bill Kenwright on how the necessary changes are made will be key.

‘I’ve been speaking to the chairman for three or four months and it has been moving along,’ said Moyes. ‘All the things I’m doing are for the best of Everton; that’s what I’m trying to do – make the right decision for Everton.

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