Survival is first and foremost, says Moyes

 

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The Independent Football

Everton manager David Moyes is making Barclays Premier League survival his first priority.

Moyes has been frustrated by yet another slow start to a campaign and is having to look down the table rather than up.

The Toffees began the season hoping to challenge the well-established top six but are currently labouring in 11th place, just six points above the relegation zone.

Moyes said: "I can only look at our games and I am only looking to - first of all - get 40 points.

"Once I have got 40 points I will see what I can do after that.

"That has got to be the target for us just now and make sure we are not at the wrong end of the table."

Moyes has told his players they must back up their midweek defeat of Swansea with more victories.

The Toffees have struggled in front of goal and were grateful for a header from the ever dependable Leon Osman to snatch a 1-0 win at Goodison Park.

That result came after a run of three games without a win and Moyes concedes it is probably too early to say whether it can be a turning point.

The Scot said: "I just see it as three vital points.

"The game was really tight and there wasn't a great deal in it.

"I thought we had the best of it and deserved to win the game, but there have been other games where teams have had one chance in the second half and it could have gone in.

"I thought we had chances in the first half and could have gone in one or two up and you could have been saying it was a more comfortable victory.

"But for us the games have been tight, so I don't know if it will kickstart anything at all.

"We won a couple of games a few weeks ago and we thought that might be the case.

"We have now got three away out of the next four games and that is tough.

"There is no point me saying this is the start and then finding we can't back it up."

Everton are back in action when they travel to Sunderland on Boxing Day.

The Black Cats are in good spirits having won twice since Martin O'Neill succeeded Steve Bruce at the Stadium of Light.

Moyes said: "Martin O'Neill has gone in and already put his footprint on it.

"We all know Martin is a really good manager and has got the ability to turn things around.

"I think Sunderland have got a good squad and it would have been a hard game whether they had Martin or Steve Bruce in charge.

"We have not got a bad record at Sunderland so I hope we can go and make that count."

Moyes has already done one piece of business ahead of the January transfer window having secured the services of United States star Landon Donovan on loan.

Donovan, who had a successful spell at the club two years ago, will add to the team's firepower put Moyes wants further additions, particularly up front.

Yet with more than two years having passed since the club last paid a significant transfer fee, Moyes accepts he is again left looking for bargains and more loans.

He said: "I am hoping to try to get some business done over January, I really am.

"I am going to try to add players but I am always saying 'but'.

"We don't have much cash to spend for what we need.

"And we don't just need any old willy-nilly centre-forward. What we need is something of quality and something that is probably going to cost a lot of money.

"If anyone is sitting there thinking we are going to be bringing in things that are going to make a big difference - that is the hard bit. But we will try to do that."

PA

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