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Moyes Interview

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The stakes will be high enough at Anfield tomorrow, but there is a case for arguing that Everton's most critical fixture is another couple of months away.


Never mind squaring up to Liverpool for a place in the Champions League, David Moyes' meeting with Bill Kenwright could determine Everton's European prospects for years to come.




Contract talks have been pencilled in for the end of the season and their significance to Everton's future began to emerge as Moyes provided Sportsmail with a broad outline of his demands and made it clear that settling his personal terms may prove the least of Kenwright's worries. There is unfinished business this season to attend to first, with the 207th Merseyside derby likely to decide whether the Champions League or UEFA Cup awaits.


Should it be the latter, don't try telling Moyes it would be a decent enough return for a club of Everton's means.


Although his impact has been far reaching in the six years since he replaced Walter Smith, the real revolution is just about to begin — if Moyes has anything to do with it.


'If we can finish fourth, I believe we will get through to the group stages in the Champions League and do well,' he said.


'After winning eight and drawing one of our 10 European games this season, I feel we are now ready to step up. We are suited for that level of competition and it shows how far we have come.


'After about a year in the job, I looked round and just felt I had an unbelievable task on my hands turning things round here, so the progress we have made since is about as much as I could have hoped for.


'We have had lots of plaudits for our performances in Europe, particularly the way we came back from 2-0 down against Fiorentina and took it to penalties. But it meant nothing. If you don't go on and win something, you are falling short.'


He added: 'I don't want to be known for near misses. When I took over, we were a club settling for avoiding relegation and that had to change. Now, there is a danger we are starting to settle for being glorious failures and I'm not having that, either.


'We have got to be more ruthless and make sure we don't lose to Fiorentina in the last 16 of the UEFA Cup or Chelsea in the semifinal of the Carling Cup.


'It is a mental thing and changing it is part of the next challenge. There is another five or six year plan ready to be implemented but this one is going to be a lot more expansive.


'When I signed my first contract, I explained the points that needed taking up. Bill went along with them and we are now much closer to being a Champions League team. But I am looking to kick on now.


'The future, as I see it, is being with a club who match my ambition and that means keeping our best players and adding even better ones.


'When you look at the cups, this is the first season we have had any joy in any of them. We need to be in semi-finals and finals regularly, just as we need to be competing at the top in the League, year-in year-out.


'Whichever way you look at it, it all comes down to money. Whether we move to a new ground or redevelop Goodison, we have to be able to generate enough income to keep adding to the squad.


'I want other players to look at Everton and see a vibrant up-andcoming young team. The likes of Mikel Arteta, Tim Cahill, Andy Johnson, Joleon Lescott and Phil Jagielka have all committed themselves to long-term deals, and I want them to be saying: “Boy, oh boy, there is some future here”.


'I owe it to them to bring in more players who can keep the improvement going.


'I don't foresee any problems and I know Bill will give me every penny he has. Like any manager, though, I am going to ask for more.'


If the pressure is on Kenwright, he has already shown he can hold his nerve. 'Bill is a brilliant guy, a real enthusiast,' said Moyes, speaking at the Arncliffe Sports and Community Centre in Merseyside, opened as part of the Barclays Spaces for Sports programme.


'When we played West Ham away twice in December, we stayed down there and he took us all out to the casino one night. Ended up winning money for all of us.


'He actually played on our behalf and turned out to be pretty useful. You could tell from his face that winning for us meant more than anything he won for himself.


'That's Bill. He's incredibly generous and not just with money. He always wants to help people. Others don't always see that kindness. He won't thank me for saying it but the way he gives people opportunities in life is incredible.'


The kindness extends far beyond his staff and players. 'People will contact him and say someone in their family wants to go into acting and he will always do his best to help,' said Moyes.


'Someone in football who I won't name got in touch about his daughter and she now works in one of his shows. She wanted to work in the theatre and he made it happen.


'There are some who think a manager and chairman shouldn't be so close but it has to be a good thing. We get on great but it is a working relationship.


'If things were going badly, he would be the first to say: “Sorry, it's just not happening”. He has had criticism and so have I. We have both had our low days but we have come through it.


'We are moving in the right direction but I still want answers on what the plans are for the next few years. I want to be able to see that there is something there, firm evidence that I can take Everton to where they should be.'


Moyes had to deal with setbacks in the early part of the season, especially when his mother died. 'It was a difficult time and it hurt me a lot,' he said. 'I had to take her to hospital in the early hours one night and she never recovered.


'I had brought her down from Scotland with my dad a couple of years earlier and she was always such a great supporter of me and the team.


'She went to all the games at Goodison and even travelled to the pre-season friendlies in Ireland. She always really enjoyed her day out at Everton and I have to say she got treated great by everyone. They were really good hosts every time and I will always be grateful for that.


'It took me a while to get over it but my mum was tough and would have wanted me to get on with things. I had a lot of support from the players as well at the time. That was something I really appreciated.'


On a professional level, he felt the loss of assistant manager Alan Irvine, who took over at Preston.


'It was disappointing seeing Alan go, too, because he was a good man as well as a good assistant manager. I will make an appointment in the summer and it may be more than one. I'll just have to add that to the list for when I see Bill.'


The Arncliffe Sports Centre in Halewood has benefited from a £60,000 grant provided by Barclays and the Football Foundation. More details at www.barclays.co.uk/spacesforsports

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Don't think any of us realised just how lucky we got six years ago. The man's a one-off and you never know, he may just achieve what he's aiming for!!


Be great to have him around for Wenger/Ferguson time scale, would mean we're still going forward because as soon as the board fail to back him there'll be clubs all over Europe fighting for his services.

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Didnt really want to start a new thread when this is here. Trying to destabilise us ahead of the derby or am I just being paranoid?


I can't see Andy Hunter wanting to destabalise the club seeing as he is an Evertonian! I think it's just it's a window of opportunity with it being derby week to write about the club and he's used it to highlight the boards inadequacies.

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I can't see Andy Hunter wanting to destabalise the club seeing as he is an Evertonian! I think it's just it's a window of opportunity with it being derby week to write about the club and he's used it to highlight the boards inadequacies.



Still, there's no need to report something like this AGAIN is there? Not when we have a big game coming up.

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