Moyes desire for first Anfield win is "not personal"
Published 03/05/2013 | 17:13
Everton boss David Moyes has stressed his desire to beat Liverpool in Sunday's Merseyside derby at Anfield is not driven by any sense of personal mission.
Moyes has been in charge of the Toffees for 11 years, but is still to oversee an away victory against the Reds.
The Scot has emphasised that if Everton pull off their first Anfield victory since 1999 this weekend, his thoughts will be on its significance for the club as a whole rather than for his own CV.
Asked what it would mean to him personally if his side won this weekend's Barclays Premier League clash, Moyes said: "Nothing personally.
"For Everton - for the team and the supporters - it will mean an awful lot, but personally, it is not an important thing really.
"I'm looking forward to trying to get a result for the supporters."
A win for Everton will almost certainly mean Moyes' men, currently sixth in the table, will finish this season above seventh-placed Liverpool, with the current gap between them standing at five points after 35 matches played.
It would be the second campaign in succession that the Toffees have secured a higher final position than the Reds, but Moyes' focus is more on this term's bigger picture - the hunt for a European berth.
"You want to finish above every team - I wanted to finish above Manchester United and Manchester City this season," Moyes said.
"Do I want to finish above Liverpool? Of course I do. But it can't be our sole objective, and I would be surprised if it was Liverpool's to finish above us.
"In terms of our target at the moment, we are looking to see if we can catch Tottenham or one of the other teams above us."
Everton are three points behind fifth-placed Spurs, having played one game more.
Liverpool, meanwhile, will once again be without their top-scorer Luis Suarez, who is serving a 10-match suspension for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.
In their first game since Suarez began the ban, the Reds routed Newcastle 6-0 at St James' Park and they go into this encounter having lost only once in nine league fixtures.
Everton are in decent form themselves, suffering a solitary defeat in their last eight top-flight matches, and Moyes is anticipating a tight contest.
He said: "Luis Suarez is a top, top player and he would be missed by any team.
"But like with anyone else, players get injured and suspended and your team has to move on.
"We've had a lot of key players out at different times in our season, and I'm sure Liverpool will just get on with it.
"I think both teams have been pretty steady in the back end of the season.
"I think it's quite tight - their form has been good, and they had a great result last week.
"We've kept ticking along nicely and picking up points as we go, so the game looks evenly poised at this moment in time."
When asked if discipline is particularly important in derby games, Moyes said: "Yes, it is, and it is also important that you have some good refereeing.
"In the past I don't think we have had particularly good refereeing in one or two of the games, and it has made the disciplinary issue worse than what it should be."
Everton midfielder Darron Gibson, who missed last Saturday's 1-0 win over Fulham through an injury picked up a week earlier against Sunderland, has a chance of featuring in Sunday's match.
There is bad news regarding captain Phil Neville, though, with Moyes revealing that a knee problem will keep the defender - also not involved last weekend - out of what will be the last Merseyside derby before his career as an Toffees player finishes this summer.
With regard to his own future with the club, Moyes has maintained that he will make a decision once the campaign has concluded.
"We have said that my decision will be made at the end of the season, and that hasn't altered," Moyes said.
"But it would be nice if we do have European football, that is for sure."