Lescott saga hit Toffees hard, insists Moyes
Published 24/03/2010 | 05:00
Everton manager David Moyes has claimed the protracted sale of Joleon Lescott was just as damaging to his side's season as their injury list.
Lescott joined Manchester City -- who Everton face tonight -- in a £22m deal in August after several weeks of bitter wrangling between the clubs. Moyes was highly critical of City's conduct throughout the saga and feels the whole affair had a negative effect on his team.
Everton, now making a late push for Europe, have done well to rescue their season after an injury-ravaged opening few months saw them collect just 15 points from their first 14 league games.
Moyes said: "Damage was done by that transfer. I think it had a lot to do with how we started the season, it wasn't just injuries. It took us a long time to recover.
"Our away form hasn't been as good as our home form. That could have had a lot to do with the instability we had at the start with new defenders coming in.
"But we are talking about something that happened 10 months ago. I'm now stopping talking about it."
Everton travel to Eastlands tonight but there will be no reunion with Lescott after the defender was ruled out for up to five weeks with a hamstring injury.
"Joleon went to see a doctor and he said it will be four or five weeks before he can come back," said City boss Roberto Mancini.