DAVID MOYES admitted he questioned his methods during Everton’s poor start to the season – but is now dreaming of Europe again.
The Blues boss cannot fathom why his squad started the campaign sluggishly despite a deliberate effort to avoid the pattern repeating itself.
But, speaking after his team secured a hard-fought point at White Hart Lane, he insisted he can now begin to plan for an assault on the top half of the table.
He said: “I thought at the start of the season that we would be up there pushing for Europe and I still do.
“We are a little bit short in the strength department and when the early results didn’t go too well, you start questioning your own self but in most of the games we have played well.
“I really thought this would be a year to enjoy. A year to have a go and challenge but the start was really disappointing. I could not put my finger on why except to say that we couldn’t score.
“One thing is that you can normally walk away and take some little bit of pleasure from the performance, but this went on for two, three, four games and I was asking ‘Wait a minute. Have I got that wrong?’ Maybe not playing as well as we should be, I have to find another way of winning games.
“A manager’s job is to find ways of winning games whether you do it the purist way or do whatever you have to to win.
“I don’t hit the books but I watch the videos and we all work hard on the training ground. The players will tell you how hard we have worked on the training ground, I can’t be rewarding a team that don’t win.”
Moyes stressed he thought his side had played better during their winless start to the campaign, than during their convincing derby win and draw in North London on Saturday.
He said: “We probably played better in those opening games than we even did against Liverpool and maybe today against Tottenham.
“I don’t think you absolutely doubt yourself when things go wrong, this is as good as I have had, a good balance of experience of Phil Neville and Sylvain Distin and the emerging players Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines, Jack Rodwell, and Fellaini will be a really good player. I hope the players didn’t get worried about it because I said to them that I thought we were playing well.
“I kept using the words that we had to be tougher, we were losing an easy goal, Tim dropped one in on the opening day against Wolves, we have not had luck but keeping the clean sheets is probably something that has been getting us results. We didn’t keep one today but it was close to another one.
“I think we are getting healthier, I think we are good enough to get up there but whether we can. Every season, we have tried not to have to play catch up – I have changed the pre-season, we went somewhere different, we changed the training ground.
“I’m not superstitious but I had to try and find a solution to what was happening even though I thought that what we were doing most of the time wasn’t wrong.”
As one of the original founder members of the Football League, Everton are a club steeped in history and tradition and have played more seasons in the top flight of English football than any other club. Their association with the greatest cup competition in the world has thus conjured some wonderful moments, and this offering from Sport Media celebrates a century of memories since their first FA Cup success in 1906. Celebrate a century of memories with 'Everton's FA Cup 100'. Read