DAVID MOYES admits Liverpool’s summer spending splurge was tough to swallow – but insists money means nothing in the heat of derby battle.
The Everton manager believes his side came closest to over-taking Liverpool last season since 2005 when they finished above their city rivals in the Premier League.
But despite the Toffees going unbeaten against the reds last term, the two clubs had vastly contrasting summers in the transfer market, with Kenny Dalglish spending £56m on seven players while Moyes was could only make two loan signings on deadline day.
He said: “I felt we were getting closer to them. I felt as though we had a good team last year. We’d been edging closer and I think that was proven last season.”
Moyes accepts he felt a sense of deflation at the subsequent gap in finance.
“You do at first,” he said.
“But once it’s done and you take it in then you say ‘Stuff it. I’m getting on with it’. You do what you can.
“Look, it’s happened at other times before in different seasons and different eras.
“It’s a big challenge for us to get up to Liverpool because they have a lot of things going in their favour. But I think we’ve tried to make a fist of it as much as we can.
“I said this time last year that there were difficult times at Liverpool. People were talking about the banks wanting this and the bank wanting that.
“When you cross the line it doesn’t matter what has happened, who has paid what. It’s just two teams competing.”
Moyes is hopeful he will have Tim Cahill fit to play in today’s 216th derby, and could yet restore Louis Saha to his starting line-up with the Aussie deployed behind him in the Blues’ attack.
Cahill took part in full training yesterday and will have a fitness test this morning, with Moyes having no further injury concerns aside from Victor Anichebe’s long-term absence.
Moyes will be in charge for his 21st derby today, and admits they are still special.
“When I look back after it is all over I will feel very proud and privileged that I was involved in so many,” he said. “My job is to now make sure I get a few more wins in them.”
Tickets are still available for today’s game. Supporters who have attended a game this season or last can buy a ticket from today by calling 0871 663 1878 or from the Goodison box office which opens at 9am.