Moyes ponders throwing Beattie into European fray

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The Independent Football

It has been a frustrating time for Beattie as he has struggled to justify his manager David Moyes' faith in him since he moved from Southampton in the January transfer deadline.

But with Everton needing four goals to stay in the tie when they face Dinamo Bucharest at Goodison Park in the Uefa Cup first-round second leg tomorrow, Beattie may well be rushed back into action.

Moyes claims that Beattie's absence has been the one which has hit his side the hardest this season, and the former England man could well be used at some stage in a tie in which Everton are already 5-1 down from the first leg. The Everton manager said: "We have been short of real competition all season up front. James has started one game, and scored one goal - and that is what we are desperately short of at the moment.

"We will see how he is after a couple of days' training, but there is a possibility we may need him to sit on the substitutes bench.

"I am definitely going to try and get through in this competition. We will certainly be trying to score goals on Thursday - and, I hope, keep Bucharest out at the same time."

Injuries to players like the defender Per Kroldrup, the new Dutch winger Andy van der Meyde, the midfielder Lee Carsley, the full-back Alessandro Pistone, and the young striker James Vaughan and Beattie, mean Moyes has been juggling the same 14 players all season.

That situation will continue tomorrow, with Kroldrup due to restart training the same day. "We will have the same group of players to choose from," Moyes confirmed. "We will have to see how we can mix them up as best we can."

With Everton now at the bottom of the Premiership and facing a tough game at Manchester City on Sunday, Moyes is defiantly sticking to his style and refusing to panic - despite just one win in nine games so far this term.

"It's not easy at the moment. But it has been difficult before, and we will continue to do the right things," the Scot promised.

"There's no need for a big change. We will do what we think is right, and what we are doing now is what took us to fourth place last year and seventh a couple of years before that.

"But we know we've got to do better and start pulling some results out."