Moyes is hoping for a tough test
Everton boss David Moyes believes the Canaries will be a tough test as his side step up their pre-season campaign. The Toffees head to East Anglia for their fifth clash of the summer - with four wins already under their belt - and Moyes has been boosted by the return of several internationals after their World Cup break.
Everton boss David Moyes believes the Canaries will be a tough test as his side step up their pre-season campaign.
The Toffees head to East Anglia for their fifth clash of the summer - with four wins already under their belt - and Moyes has been boosted by the return of several internationals after their World Cup break.
Defender Joseph Yobo, striker Yakubu, inspirational midfielders Tim Cahill and Steven Pienaar, new signing Jan Mucha and fellow goalkeeper Tim Howard are all in with a chance of featuring today -- with Moyes having to decide whether to hand these players their first taste of pre-season action.
“I think there's a couple of them who are a little bit further ahead,” said Moyes. “Pienaar, Yobo, Yakubu and Mucha look like they need a bit more training but Tim Cahill - I think because he had a couple of games and did a bit of training in Australia - is a little bit ahead.”
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Almost certain to miss today's clash through injury are Victor Anichebe and Leon Osman, while defender Phil Jagielka picked up a knee injury in training this week meaning he is also likely to be sidelined - but “overall we aren't looking too bad,” Moyes admitted.
The Blues boss has warned his side that they will be in for a tough test.
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“Norwich is a really good football club,” he said. “They have great support and they certainly wouldn't be out of place in the Premier League.”
Moyes admitted to being full of admiration for fellow Scot Paul Lambert and the job he's done at Carrow Road.
“I do know Paul quite well,” he said. “Norwich have been in the Premier League before and Paul is doing a great job. If they continue to rise, I'm sure they will be back in the Premier League.
Turning his attentions back to Everton, Moyes has challenged his players to keep their good run going.
“It is pre-season so we want the games as tough as we can get them,” he said.
“We have done well in the other games so I hope it's tough. It doesn't matter what the results are. It's better winning but what really counts is starting the season well.”
So what are the aspirations for Moyes' men in the Premier League?
“We have been a decent team in the Premier League for quite a few years now,” he said. “The one thing we haven't done is win anything yet and we are going to have to do something about it”.
To do this, Moyes knows he must keep the majority of his squad together, as doubts linger around the futures of Pienaar and Spanish star Mikel Arteta, to ensure another fine campaign - having lost just two of their last 24 games in finishing eighth in the Premier League last season.
Rising star Jack Rodwell was one of the first names Moyes wanted to re-sign and there was much relief as the highly-rated 19-year-old - who looks destined for full England honours -- penned a new five-year contract.
Cahill and talented defender Leighton Baines also agreed new long-term deals, as did the promising Seamus Coleman.
Everton squad from: Turner, Howard, Mucha, Hibbert, Neville, Coleman, Baines, Distin, Yobo, Mustafi, Rodwell, Arteta, Cahill, Pienaar, Bilyaletdinov, Gueye, Vaughan, Saha, Yakubu, Beckford, Baxter, Silva.