David Moyes rubbishes Fellaini claim
Everton manager David Moyes has defended his decision to play Marouane Fellaini against Sunderland last week following criticism from the player's father.
Abdellatif Fellaini hit out at the Merseyside club after his son was ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury which requires surgery.
The 23-year-old Belgium international picked up the injury at Chelsea a fortnight ago and Fellaini senior believes he should have been rested for the visit of the Wearsiders last Saturday.
Fellaini aggravated the problem in a challenge with Sunderland's Stephane Sessegnon and was substituted after 42 minutes.
It is the second successive year Fellaini has had his season ended prematurely by a serious ankle injury.
"Marouane is really in a desperate state," Abdellatif Fellaini said in Gazet van Antwerpen.
"He should never have played that last game against Sunderland. He should never have been allowed to play because he was already injured."
Moyes has rejected any suggestion Everton would risk a player's wellbeing.
The Scot said: "That's completely wrong. We would never do that, it's a load of rubbish.
"We had to hold the boy back from training on the Tuesday and Thursday and he trained Friday.
"His dad's maybe upset because the boy is going to have another operation on Monday.
"Who would do that? We wouldn't - of course we wouldn't.
"We certainly wouldn't risk Marouane Fellaini, who has arguably been our best player this season."
It has been a difficult week for Moyes after his team were dumped out of the FA Cup at the fifth round stage by Championship side Reading on Tuesday.
Moyes had hoped his team's memorable win at Chelsea in a fourth-round replay would prove a turning point in an inconsistent campaign.
They followed it up by beating Sunderland 2-0 to move into mid-table in the Barclays Premier League but the Reading reverse has proved another major setback.
Again the focus is on the little-spending Toffees' proximity to the relegation zone - five points above the bottom three with 11 games remaining - rather than a possible late push for a European place.
Moyes today kept short his media briefing to preview tomorrow's testing league trip to Newcastle.
He said: "We get on with our work, that's the job. In any line of work you come in every day and get on with your work.
"We will try to win the next game, the next game is always the most important and we will try to win that one.
"It is a chance to pick up three points. We have 11 games left and we will see if we can win as many of those as we possibly can.
"But it is a big test. I think Newcastle have done well, as have all the promoted teams."
Moyes, who reaches the ninth anniversary of his appointment at Goodison Park later this month, has bounced back from cup shocks in the past.
He said: "I had to come back from the result against Shrewsbury a few years ago, and I had to come back from the result against Oldham.
"If you look at the results and performances in the last few years I think you'll find we tend to do that.
"It's frustrating because you want to be consistent.
"The players will have to play their part as well. They need to get on with it and show what they are about and in the main they have done that.
"We will try to do everything we can to take three points.
"The way the league has been this year if you lose one you are looking down and if you win one you are looking up. I hope we are looking up after Saturday night.
"We have shown some good performances in other games and we have to try to get up to that level of performance."
Everton will be without another influential midfielder at St James' Park with Tim Cahill ruled out for up to three weeks with a foot injury.
Yet Moyes still has much of the squad which lost just two of their final 24 games last season together, and believes they can fire again.
"There are a lot of good players in there and a lot of strong characters," he said.
"I have got a lot of trust in them, I believe in them. They are good players and that hasn't changed."
Latest in Sport
Jose Mourinho: 'The dogs bark and the caravan goes by,' Chelsea manager gives cryptic assessment after Blues win title
Floyd Mayweather next opponent: Mayweather more likely to pick a former foe than a fresh contender like Amir Khan in Las Vegas lottery
Manchester United transfer news: Adnan Januzaj to be offered in deal for Memphis Depay
Arsenal transfer news: Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini set for showdown summer talks over future
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger reveals: 'We are not close to signing anybody. We need to lose some players'
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils