Moyes cautious in predicting green shoots of recovery

Everton 1 Wolverhampton 1
Click to follow
The Independent Football

Another stuttering performance, another two points dropped and another game against a promoted team without success. Yet Everton fans remain convinced that David Moyes, the manager, can conjure up another masterstroke and inspire his side to go on a table-climbing run like last season. Moyes, however, is not convinced there will be a repeat.

While 11 points from eight games represents a slight improvement on last season's start, Moyes is worried that his side's stuttering form could continue for some time.

With long-term casualties Phil Jagielka, Mikel Arteta and Phil Neville not expected to return until next month at the earliest, and Johnny Heitinga and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov still finding their feet, Moyes has reason to be concerned.

"This time last season we'd started to recover a wee bit more," said Moyes, after Bilyaletdinov's first goal since joining from Lokomotiv Moscow in August rescued a point.

"I think the recovery might be longer this season because of the late recruitment and the players who were out all summer. Yakubu is just beginning to get back. As a team we're not performing to where we should be."

Wolverhampton Wanderers had lost their previous four games away from Molineux yet Mick McCarthy's side headed back to the Black Country kicking themselves that they did not secure all three points.

After both teams had missed several opportunities between them to break the deadlock, Kevin Doyle thought he had clinched a crucial victory after pouncing on some sloppy home defending 14 minutes from time but Bilyaletdinov saved Everton's blushes in the dying moments.

Everton (4-4-1-1): Howard; Hibbert (Yakubu, h-t), Yobo, Distin, Baines; Osman (Fellaini, 77), Heitinga, Rodwell, Bilyaletdinov; Cahill; Saha (Jo, 73). Substitutes not used: Nash (gk), Neill, Gosling, Coleman.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-4-2): Hennessey; Zubar, Craddock, Berra, Elokobi; Kightly (Jarvis, 58), Edwards, Henry, Halford (Castillo, 66); Ebanks-Blake (Maierhofer, 79), Doyle. Substitutes not used: Hahnemann (gk), Stearman, Keogh, Milijas.

Referee: S Attwell (Warwickshire).

Booked: Everton Howard; Wolverhampton Edwards, Kightly, Maierhofer.

Sent off: Maierhofer (90).

Man of the match: Craddock .

Attendance: 39,319.