Everton v Stoke City preview: David Moyes maintains contract suspense until the end of the season

 

Everton boss David Moyes insists he will not destabilise the club despite wanting to make sure conditions are right before committing his future to Goodison Park.

Moyes, who has been in charge for the past 11 years, is out of contract in the summer but does not intend to make a decision on a new deal until the end of the season.

Chairman Bill Kenwright admitted this week that is not ideal for the club but he respects the Scot's wishes and hopes a new contract can be signed after the last game.

He added that he has already rebuffed enquiries about a potential vacancy, saying there is no other man he wants, but if Moyes was to leave he would do so “with his head held high”.

Moyes wants to make sure he will have the wherewithal to revamp his squad to prevent stagnation but is pleased to hear Kenwright's complimentary remarks.

Moyes, speaking at a press conference to preview this weekend's clash with Stoke, said: “I am delighted, from the chairman especially.

“Being at Everton is something I would be really happy with.

“But we have been talking for a long time now, three or four months and everyone nudges along a little bit further every time we speak.

“As I have said, we will conclude that at the end of the season.

“What I am trying to do is make sure I give Everton the best chance of going forward. I wouldn't want it any other way.

“I would never do anything, in any way, to jeopardise Everton or the football club.

“I want to make sure the supporters see a promising, fresh-looking team for the seasons to come.

“We have to make sure the finances we have give us the opportunity to do that.

“We have a small squad, and in truth we have an ageing squad as well, which we need to look at.

“I need to be capable of being able to make those changes for the best of Everton.

“We are well aware of where we are at this moment in time. I have always said that where we finish, what we do at the end of the season - that will be a better time for us to make a decision than just now.”

When asked about Kenwright's revelation that he has already received calls about the manager's job, Moyes said: “It is a great job, Everton. It really is.”

Kenwright, who has long said he would sell the club to the right bidder, also revealed that he has been contacted by potential new investors.

Moyes said the club did not necessarily have to find a wealthy new owner for him to stay.

He said: “Part of the discussion is what the investment is but it is not vital, because we have a great chairman and a great football club here.

“But I think it is something we would all welcome.”

Speculation over Moyes' future heightened after the club suffered a demoralising FA Cup quarter-final loss to unfancied Wigan earlier this month.

But after a week of soul-searching, the team responded with a stunning win over Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City.

Moyes, once again, appears to be in a position of strength and, with European qualification still an outside possibility, he wants to make sure the momentum is maintained.

He said: “It does seem a long time ago, a couple of weeks is a long time in football but it was a really good performance.

“We have had a couple of very good performances this year and that was certainly up there.

“It was what we needed after the Wigan game but the Man City game has gone now and we now have to do well against Stoke City.”

Stoke visit Goodison amid a poor run in which they have won just one of their last 11 games.

Although 11th, they may not be entirely clear of relegation but Moyes - who must make do without the suspended Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar but could have Tim Howard and Phil Jagielka back - anticipates a typically tough battle.

He said: “We know Stoke are hard to beat.

“Their record at this time isn't great but they tend not to concede too many goals.

“Whenever we have played them it has been close. We have had a lot of the ball but never been able to break them down.

“We have always had hard games against Stoke, as have most teams in the Premier League. I won't expect it to be any different.”

PA

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