Moyes 'humbled' by five-year contract

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The Independent Football

David Moyes, the Everton manager, said he felt "humbled" yesterday as he committed his long-term future to the club by signing a contract that runs until 2009.

David Moyes, the Everton manager, said he felt "humbled" yesterday as he committed his long-term future to the club by signing a contract that runs until 2009.

The Merseysiders, expected to struggle this term after flirting with relegation last season and selling their prize asset Wayne Rooney, are third in the League just six points behind the leaders Chelsea.

"I am delighted and extremely humbled to receive it because I realise that a big part in me getting this is because the players have performed well," Moyes said.

"The opportunity to sign a second contract at Everton doesn't come around very often," he added. "I also feel that we have made progress in the past three years and I now see a much better future for Everton." The club's good start has been built on the back of a miserly defence, conceding only seven goals in 11 games.

"My ambition is to manage in Europe and there is no better club to do that with than Everton. There are signs the club is coming out of the dark days. It has been a really good club and now my task is to make it great again.

"It is an honour to be given a second contract but I would not have signed it if I did not have reassurances that there are funds available. My job is to make sure that Everton end up more often than not in the top 10."

The club's chairman, Bill Kenwright has been desperate for Moyes, whose contract ran out at the end of next season, to sign a new deal. "I am thrilled and absolutely certain that Evertonians all over the world will be similarly excited," he said.

Everton play at Birmingham today with defender Gary Naysmith pushing for a recall after shaking off a calf problem, while striker Marcus Bent faces a late fitness test. Nigel Martyn is expected to regain his place in goal from Richard Wright.

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