Wednesday 17 January 2018

Moyes praises depleted Toffees

Everton 2 Blackpool 0

Phil Medlicott

Everton manager David Moyes was delighted to see his side navigate their way past Blackpool and book a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals yesterday -- particularly given the number of players he had unavailable.

The Toffees had an influential trio drop out of the team, with Landon Donovan being denied the chance to make a final appearance before returning to the Los Angeles Galaxy by illness and fellow loanee Steven Pienaar ineligible as he was cup-tied.

The third man missing from the line-up that had started the 2-0 Premier League win over Chelsea was Tim Cahill, who Moyes said was carrying "two or three injuries".

The manager -- who has Shane Duffy, Nikica Jelavic, Phil Jagielka, Leon Osman, Jack Rodwell and Victor Anichebe in the treatment room as well -- also revealed that Leighton Baines played yesterday afternoon even though he had been sick just before kick-off.

Despite the list of absentees and casualties, Everton went on to win the tie at Goodison Park thanks to two goals in the opening six minutes and Moyes said afterwards: "The amount of players we had out, I don't know if I've had it as bad really.

"I'm sure I have, but it felt that way today. We didn't have Landon and Bainesy was sick on the pitch in the warm-up.

"He was as ill as anybody and I wasn't going to play him, but I told him to give it a go and we would see how he was, so for him to play (Baines lasted the full 90 minutes) says a lot about him. He has changed a lot -- he is tough and resilient and is turning out to be a really good player. Tim Cahill is carrying two or three injuries at the moment and Shane Duffy is injured.

"We were really short, with not having Jelavic, Jagielka, Osman, Rodwell and Anichebe. It was a big job today to get through. Blackpool are a decent side and you saw the way they played in the Premier League last year. It was a tricky tie for us," added Moyes.

Royston Drenthe fired Everton ahead in the first minute after being teed up by Marouane Fellaini and Denis Stracqualursi struck from close range to double the lead five minutes later.

The Toffees had plenty of opportunities to extend their advantage but were unable to do so and survived several scares, with Blackpool twice hitting the woodwork in the second half before Kevin Phillips missed a penalty in stoppage-time.

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