EVERTON manager David Moyes has stressed his desire to beat Liverpool in tomorrow’s Merseyside derby at Anfield is not driven by any sense of personal mission.
Moyes has been in charge of the Toffees for 11 years, but is still to oversee an away victory against their city rivals.
The Scot has emphasised that if Everton pull off their first Anfield victory since 1999 this weekend, his thoughts will be on its significance for the club rather than for his own CV.
Asked what it would mean to him personally if his side won this weekend’s Barclays Premier League clash, Moyes said: “Nothing personally. For Everton – for the team and the supporters – it will mean an awful lot, but personally, it is not an important thing really.”
A win for Everton will effectively confirm that Moyes’ men, currently sixth in the table, will finish this season above seventh-placed Liverpool, with the current gap between them standing at five points after 35 matches played – the second successive season they have bested their once more illustrious rivals.
“You want to finish above every team - I wanted to finish above Manchester United and Manchester City this season,” Moyes said. “Do I want to finish above Liverpool? Of course I do. But it can’t be our sole objective, and I would be surprised if it was Liverpool’s to finish above us. In terms of our target at the moment, we are looking to see if we can catch Tottenham or one of the other teams above us.”
Everton are three points behind fifth-placed Spurs, having played one game more.
Liverpool will off course be without their top-scorer Luis Suarez, who is serving a ten-match suspension for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic – the latest in a long series of controversies he has been involved in since joining the club.
However, Liverpool appeared to thrive in his absence last week, beating Newcastle 6-0 at St James’ Park.
Moyes said: “Luis Suarez is a top, top player and he would be missed by any team. But players get injured and suspended and your team has to move on. We’ve had key players out at different times this season.”