David Moyes has confidence in current Everton squad despite transfer setbacks

Everton had agreed a deal for Leroy Fer

Everton boss David Moyes has stressed his confidence in the group of players he has at his disposal, despite the setbacks he suffered towards the end of the January transfer window.

The Toffees had been set to sign FC Twente midfielder Leroy Fer until the deal collapsed on Wednesday, with the Dutch side refusing to accept restructured payments after Fer's medical highlighted an issue.

A move for Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo also proved fruitless before Everton managed to complete the capture of 18-year-old England Under-19 right-back John Stones from Barnsley.

That was the club's only new recruit during January and Moyes - who also extended midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger's stay at Goodison Park a few weeks ago through to the end of the campaign - has made it clear that he would have liked to get more players in.

But the Scot was also keen to emphasise that he has plenty of faith in his current squad, who head into tomorrow's Barclays Premier League home clash with Aston Villa still very much in the hunt for a top-four finish.

Moyes said: "We would obviously like more, but what the players have done up to now has meant that we are more than confident going into the rest of the season with what we have got.

"Yes, we would have liked to add to it, but it wasn't to be the case.

"We wanted to add players if we could who could go into the team and we tried to do that right up to the end, but for reasons out of our control it didn't happen. It wasn't for the want of trying, that is for sure.

"There were a couple of young players we were interested in and we took one of them in John Stones in the end.

"But a couple of targets we had in mind possibly for helping the first team right now, they were gone, probably a few days before (deadline day).

"We tried (for Negredo), but it didn't work. They wanted a lot more money than we offered."

Asked about Stones, Moyes added: "He is a young English player and we are always keen to add as many of those as we possibly can.

"He has been playing at right-back and playing quite regularly for Barnsley.

"I know there are a lot of people saying he will turn into a good centre-half in the future as well, so we will look at that, and we will try to develop him the way we have done with quite a few other young players we have brought in from the lower leagues over the years.

"But he is not really for just now, he is for the future."

Everton are currently fifth, a point adrift of Tottenham, and have lost only three league games all season.

The scenario is quite different for Villa, who dropped into the bottom three with a home defeat to Newcastle this week.

It has been a testing period for manager Paul Lambert, but Moyes believes if his fellow Scot can keep Villa up, the future for the club could be bright.

"I think it has been a difficult job for Paul because he is having to change things around and has probably tried to alter the amount they are spending on wages as well," Moyes said.

"He has brought in a few younger players and it is going to take time. But if he pulls through with the younger boys, he might have a good team going on into the future, and I'm sure that is the way he is looking at it.

"He has to try to make sure he gets through this period and if Aston Villa survive, I'm sure they will get better."

Midfielder Darron Gibson could return to the Everton starting line-up in tomorrow's game.

Gibson was back in action as a substitute in the 2-1 win over West Brom on Wednesday after a thigh problem, which had kept him out since the end of December.

It remains to be seen whether or not striker Nikica Jelavic will be restored to the first XI having been dropped to the bench against the Baggies match, while it is not expected that Stones will be involved and Seamus Coleman (thigh) and Tony Hibbert (calf) remain sidelined.

PA

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