| 10.8°C Dublin

Moyes hopeful Cup loss will drive players

Everton boss David Moyes hopes his side's FA Cup exit to Birmingham at the weekend will provide the necessary wake-up call for his players.

Having struggled with injuries earlier in the season the Toffees were unbeaten in seven Premier League matches prior to the weekend cup defeat to the St Andrews club.

That run -- two wins and five draws -- may have lifted the club to 10th but Moyes is keen for his players to push on, starting tonight at home to Sunderland, whom they have not lost to in 11 meetings.

"I don't think we can afford to be that complacent because we've not been on that good a run," said Moyes.

"We've done OK but a good run to me would be top of the league having won 10 in a row.

"We can't afford to have bad days, we must have good days all the time.

"I thought it had settled down over the last month or so and we had been more consistent, but obviously there was a spanner in the works at the weekend which has thrown us a little.

"It (an unbeaten run) can always be broken. You just have to keep it going as long as you can."

Moyes will make a late decision on whether to play midfielder Mikel Arteta after the Spaniard made his comeback -- after almost a year out with a knee injury -- as a second-half substitute against Birmingham.

Arteta sustained a minor groin problem in a practice game on Monday, aimed at giving him and new loanee Philippe Senderos match fit.

The Everton boss is prepared to be patient with one of his most creative talents: "Arteta may or may not be in the squad, I can't decide on that just yet. A lot of these things happen when you are recovering from injury.

"We just need to be mindful that he is coming back from a year out, and we can't expect him to come back as the same Mikel Arteta who left us.

"With Mikel, it is going to be a month or so. We can't expect him to walk back onto the pitch after no games and very little training."

Moyes is also hopeful Senderos, who has joined until the end of the season, will boost his side.

"With injuries to Phil Jagielka and Joseph Yobo we've chopped and changed a bit to try to find the right balance. Philippe will be among that and hopefully he will bring something to the table," added Moyes.

Everton v Sunderland

Live Sky Sports 2, (KO 8.0)


Privacy