David Moyes plays down link to Aston Villa

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The Independent Football

Everton boss David Moyes is bemused by reports linking him with Aston Villa.

Moyes' future has been the subject of recurring speculation this season but the Scot has continually insisted he is happy at Goodison Park.

That was again the case when asked today about the Villa rumours, which have arisen due to the ill health of current manager Gerard Houllier.

"It is nothing to do with me," said 48-year-old Moyes, who has been in charge at Goodison Park for nine years.

"I am at a great club and have got a great job. I don't know what to say."

Moyes was speaking at a press conference to preview his side's Barclays Premier League trip to Wigan tomorrow.

Everton are seventh in the table after finding form over the past two months.

The Toffees were unbeaten in seven games prior to last week's loss at Manchester United and their strong run is bringing a generally disappointing campaign to a positive conclusion.

Everton, restricted by a small squad and limited funds for transfers, spent most of the first half of the season in the bottom half.

Moyes said: "This is probably the position where most people would have put us. Most people would have said we'd be between fifth and eighth.

"I'm disappointed because I felt we could have gone one better than that.

"But there is still enough to play for, we have tried to emphasise to the players it is important we stay near the top.

"That is where we want to be and I have not seen any signs from the players to suggest they think any different."

Everton end the season with home games against Manchester City and Chelsea, either side of a match at West Brom.

First they must tackle Wigan, who are anxious for points at the bottom end of the table.

Moyes said: "They are always pretty tough games against Wigan.

"Roberto (Martinez) always gets his team playing in a good footballing style, but I am sure at the moment winning is the key.

"We had a spell six or eight weeks ago when I felt we had to make sure we won.

"Luckily we did and when you get those wins it brings a bit of confidence back to the team and the squad and hopefully your performances can improve.

"Just over a week ago Wigan came out of the bottom three for the first time in a long while and they will know they are not far away from that."

Everton playmaker Mikel Arteta could return after five games out with a hamstring injury having trained this week.

Midfielder Tim Cahill is likely to be involved but again only as a substitute as he continues his recovery from a foot injury.

The Australian came off the bench at Old Trafford after sitting out six out of the previous seven games.

The 31-year-old has endured a gruelling schedule having played in the World Cup and Asian Cup in the past year.

Moyes said: "It is concerning because it is one of these things that may go tomorrow or it might still be there in three months' time.

"It is something that tends to just burn itself out and get better in time."

The Toffees side will feature two players with Wigan links in in-form duo Leighton Baines and Leon Osman.

England left-back Baines came through the ranks at Athletic before moving on to Goodison while dynamic midfielder Osman was born and has family in the area.

Moyes said: "Leighton Baines has improved no end from when we took him.

"He was a good player at Wigan and that is what got us looking at him and signing him.

"It took him a while to settle but he has grown into it and got better.

"Now I think most people think if there was a World Cup this year, Leighton Baines would be a certainty to go.

"Ossie has played really well and nearly carried us, certainly in the creativity department.

"He has got a couple of important goals for us and probably relished that, with Mikel, Tim and Felli [Marouane Fellaini] being out of the team and the loss of Steven Pienaar.

"A lot of the focus has gone onto Ossie and to be fair to him he has taken the mantle and done it really well."