Everton are preparing to face Fulham at Goodison Park on Saturday. The Toffees are sixth on the Premier League table and they have outdone their Merseyside rivals, Liverpool, by five points. With only four games left to go in the league, David Moyes spoke to Yahoo as part of their deal with the League Managers Association.
In the interview, David Moyes assessed Everton’s 2012/13 campaign and the key factors involved in achieving the cohesion evident in the team. Moreover, he talks about his players: Marouane Fellaini, Phil Neville and the 19-year-old England U-21 midfielder Ross Barkley.
Moyes discusses Fellaini’s effectiveness in the midfield, how the dressing room will handle Neville’s absence and what Neville might do after his retirement.
Talking about the youngster Barkley, David Moyes mentioned that patience is the key with him and he needs time to develop. He recently completed his loan deal at Leeds United and he also had a loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday in 2012.
Here is the complete transcript of the David Moyes interview:
David Moyes interview
Question: How do you assess Everton’s season up to this point as we approach the end of the campaign?
David Moyes: I think the team have done very well and we have maintained a level of consistency throughout the season being in and around the top eight for most of the time. Up to this present time I think Everton have done as well as could be expected.
Q: What are the key ingredients for achieving the cohesion that is always very evident in your Everton teams?
DM: Over the years we have been given the chance to get stability at the club which has given everybody that opportunity to know exactly what is required. When we bring players in we work hard to try and get the right characters with right commitment and technical ability. We have chosen those players very wisely and that has given us a chance to compete with the teams at the top and we will continue to try and do that.
Q: Marouane Fellaini set the tone for you this season with a heroic performance in the win over Manchester United in the opening round of fixtures. How important is it that the club manage to keep hold of him?
DM: Well Marouane was only part of a team that won against Manchester United, he scored the goal but we have to remember what the other players did. He is a big part of our squad not only because of his size but also because of how important he is to us and he is someone that we will be more than happy to see here again next year at Goodison.
Q: Do you think he is now more effective playing in an attacking midfield role or coming from deep?
DM: He is a good player in either role and is capable of doing both. For long parts of this season we have played him a bit further forward but recently he has dropped back a little.
I think as he matures he might grow into a deeper role but currently he does give us a different attacking option and has scored quite a few goals so we have been happy with him playing further forward this season.
Q: Ross Barkley has impressed after returning from spell on loan at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds. How do you manage the development of a talented young player if there is a lot of expectation around them?
DM: There is expectation around him and there has been a lot of talk but he has missed a lot of football through injury. We have to manage him correctly and give him time.
We sent him out on loan to get experience and we will use him when feel it is the right moment to put him into the team.
Q: Over the past decade, Everton have continually produced talented young players. What has been the key to your success in this important area?
DM: The key is always that you have an academy which is trying to develop and bring through as many of your own local boys as possible. That has tended to be where we have done well in finding some good local talent and with us having a small squad it means we give them a chance sooner than some other clubs.
I am great believer in giving young boys opportunities, if they are doing well I will always try and put them in the team and give them a chance.
Q: Phil Neville will be leaving Everton at the end of this season. How influential has he been for you and will his departure leave a big gap in the dressing room?
DM: He has been really influential. He has been a great captain and a great player since he joined us eight years ago and will be missed. He has been someone that I can rely on both on and off the pitch.
I have got no doubt that he will go on to work in football and he is someone who we will miss. It will be a hard position to fill because the way he has captained the team has been excellent over the years.
Q: Do you think Phil Neville has the qualities to become a coach, or might he perhaps emulate his brother and become a hit on TV?
DM: Phil will be a success in whatever he does in life because he conducts himself well and is very articulate but if I was a betting man I would say that it would be coaching.
Read part two of this interview here.
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