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David Moyes still tight-lipped on future

David Moyes celebrates the 11th anniversary of his tenure at Everton in four weeks time. Picture: Getty

David Moyes celebrates the 11th anniversary of his tenure at Everton in four weeks time. Picture: Getty

  • by IAN PARKES
 

EVERTON manager David Moyes appears set to wait until the end of the season before clearing the air over his future.

Moyes celebrates the 11th anniversary of his tenure at Goodison Park in four weeks’ time, but there remains a question over whether he will extend a contract that expires this summer. The 49-year-old Scot, who has been a revelation throughout his time in charge of a club that has continually punched above its weight, yesterday refused to shed any light on his situation.

Instead, Moyes looks likely to keep chairman Bill Kenwright, the players and fans in the dark over the closing three months of the campaign. “I’ll give as much as I can, but I’ve said – and I’ve spoken with the chairman – that I want to see how the team do,” said Moyes. “I want to see how we do in the cups, I want to see how we do in the league, and it’s more than likely I won’t make a decision until the end of the season. So you can ask me every week, but I’ll probably give you the same answer.”

Moyes’ immediate focus today will be on an FA Cup fifth-round tie at League One Oldham, who last month pulled off a stunning upset with a 3-2 victory over Everton’s Merseyside rivals Liverpool. The Latics have changed manager since that shock win at Boundary Park, with Tony Philliskirk stepping in as caretaker after former Scotland striker Paul Dickov resigned in the wake of a 3-1 defeat at Walsall a fortnight ago.

Under Philliskirk, Oldham last weekend triumphed 3-1 at home to the MK Dons, but remain in the bottom four and in the thick of a fight to avoid relegation. Although the tie with Everton again represents a pleasant distraction for Philliskirk and his players, Moyes knows – as Liverpool and boss Brendan Rodgers discovered to their cost – the danger at hand.

Moyes can also recall his side’s own harrowing defeat by
Oldham five years ago when the underdogs won a third-round clash 1-0 at Goodison Park. “We know what they can do as they did very well against Liverpool. It was a great result, but that’s what the cup does,” said Moyes. “We’ve been knocked out by Shrewsbury [third round in 2003], knocked out by Oldham. I thought we’d prepared well when we went to play Shrewsbury, and again when we played Oldham, but we didn’t get the result, and that is football.

“You have to play well, take your opportunities when they come along, which is cup football because you only have one chance. So we have been there, done that, we know what it’s like and we don’t want it to happen again.”

Unsurprisingly, however, given a choice between qualifying for next season’s Champions League and winning the FA Cup, there is no contest as far as Moyes is concerned. Everton remain in the hunt for a top-four finish in the Premier League, although have slipped of late and now trail Spurs by six points and Arsenal by two in the hunt for such prestige. “Qualifying for the Champions League always means more because the financial rewards from that are far greater than what you get from the FA Cup,” said Moyes.

“A lot of teams have won the FA Cup and it’s not desperately changed their fortunes, whereas qualifying for the Champions League does. If you do that, and you get into the group stages...look what it has done for Celtic, the profits they have made over the last six months, with most of it down to how they have done in the Champions League.”

 

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