Moyes laments cup exits
David Moyes admits he is frustrated Everton could not carry their impressive Premier League form into the cups.
Last Updated: 27/02/10 1:35pm
David Moyes admits he is frustrated Everton could not carry impressive Premier League form into their cup competitions.
The Toffees suffered an exit from the Europa League on Thursday after going down 3-0 in the Estadio Jose Alvalade to Sporting Lisbon, after holding a 2-1 lead from the first leg.
The defeat follows FA Cup elimination to Birmingham in January, leaving Everton with just their league position to fight for this season.
Moyes' side have been in fine form in the league of late with wins over Manchester United and Chelsea in recent weeks, leaving the Scot irritated the form could not be recaptured in the cups.
"It has been a bit of a rollercoaster," admitted Moyes. "We have been playing well yet when we have been asked to step up at times we have not done it. Other times we have.
"We are a little bit inconsistent in that way. However we cannot complain about the consistency the players have shown in the league the last few months.
"They have done really well. But in the cups we have not played that well to deserve much more than what we have had."
Everton suffered a setback against Sporting late on in the Goodison Park leg as Miguel Veloso netted from the penalty spot to open up the tie, and the Toffees were caught out when trying to cancel out the away goal, suffering another late strike in the return leg.
"We should have been good enough to go through against Sporting but over the two legs it was not to be," added Moyes.
"We have set standards but there are not many positives when you play like that.
"I said to the players we needed to score. That was the plan. In truth the goal late last week at Goodison changed the tie around."
On a positive note, Everton welcomed back long-term absentee Phil Jagielka who has been out for 10 months with a knee injury.
The defender replaced the injured Phillipe Senderos in the second half in Lisbon and is in contention for a starting place away to Tottenham on Sunday.
"It is great to get Phil back as we have been missing him," said Moyes. "He's had a bit of a game under his belt and will get better."
Jagielka also admitted his delight at returning to action. "The boys tried to make me feel part of the team and as much as we were beaten 3-0, I will look back on this game as the end of a long journey.
"I went through 30-40 minutes pretty much pain free. The result hurt, but in that sense I am happy.
"It is exciting being back, I had a lot of good-luck texts but they don't seem to have worked.
"One thing I can say for the lads is that we are sick at the sight of Lisbon. We just want to concentrate on Tottenham now."
Meanwhile, Wayne Bridge's self imposed exile from international football has opened up the door for Everton left-back Leyton Baines to make Fabio Capello's England squad for the World Cup this summer.
The 25-year-old has been impressive at full-back this term, with calls being made for his involvement as regular Ashley Cole's understudy, and Moyes agrees.
"Leighton will get spoken about because he will be one of the next in line for the spot," Moyes said.
"Probably Leighton and Stephen Warnock are the names that are being thrown in and I am sure the manager of England will have a look at them in the weeks and months leading up to the World Cup.
"I think since Bainesy has come into the side he has improved and has kept improving.
"Sometimes there is one like that who comes into the World Cup squad late on and does very well. I am hoping it's Bainesy because he has done very well for us here at Everton."