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Moyes: We must be clinical

Everton boss David Moyes has called for his side to be more ruthless in front of goal.

Last Updated: 04/05/13 at 13:16 Post Comment

David Moyes: Faces Merseyside derby test on Sunday

David Moyes: Faces Merseyside derby test on Sunday

Everton boss David Moyes has called for his side to be more ruthless in front of goal as they head into their final three games of the season.

The Toffees, sixth in the Barclays Premier League table and still in the hunt for a European berth, have scored just once in their past three matches - Steven Pienaar's strike in the 1-0 win over Fulham last weekend.

With Everton having lost only one of eight top-flight games building up to the Merseyside derby clash with Liverpool at Anfield, Moyes is pleased in many ways with how his team are finishing their campaign.

Their goal tally this term - currently standing at 52 in the league - has frequently concerned him, though, and the Scot wants to see a greater clinical edge from his men.

"We have played well," Moyes said.

"We have done a lot of good things, but we would like it to be better.

"We have just dried up a little bit on the goals side at this moment in time.

"I couldn't say all year that we have been banging them in as I would like, but I think we have been up there with the most shots and crosses.

"We have made plenty of attempts, but then we are maybe just not getting the finish to it.

"So it is something we have got to try to make sure of in these final three games - that when we get opportunities, we take them, we are clinical and we make them count."

At the other end of the field, Moyes has been greatly encouraged by what his team are producing.

Everton have kept five clean sheets in their last seven games, and asked about the importance of that defensive solidity, the 50-year-old said: "Especially if you are not scoring, or if you have just dried up a little bit, you have to make sure that you don't concede to give yourself the chance of at least getting a draw, or maybe nicking a goal to win it.

"It has been good and I'm pleased that we have tightened up.

"It is important that you get a certain amount of clean sheets during the season and we are beginning to get much closer to it now."

Everton could have Darron Gibson back available for the trip to Anfield - where they have not won since 1999 - but captain Phil Neville has been ruled out.

Moyes says midfielder Gibson, who missed the Fulham match through an injury picked up a week earlier against Sunderland, has a chance of featuring.

There is bad news regarding Neville, though, with Moyes revealing that a knee problem will keep the defender - also not involved in the Fulham game - out of what will be the last Merseyside derby before his career as an Everton player finishes this summer.

If the Toffees win on Sunday it will guarantee that for a second successive season they will finish higher in the table than Liverpool, who are currently seventh.


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