Moyes salutes Beattie form
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Everton boss David Moyes has praised striker James Beattie for his recent displays.Everton boss David Moyes has praised striker James Beattie for his impressive performances of late.
The 27-year-old has scored twice in his last three games, and Moyes believes he is finally on the verge of rediscovering his best form.
Beattie, who had a terrific goalscoring record at Southampton, has been at Goodison Park for a year without hitting those heights, but Moyes is confident that he is close to peak condition.
"James is beginning to get something like the form we'd hoped for," explained the Toffees manager.
"When we were trying to sign him Gordon Strachan said that if we get him super fit then he is virtually unplayable, he's that good. I don't think he is quite there yet, but he's getting more like it
"I have never doubted my decision to sign him, even when things were not going so well. He is starting to take a lot more responsibility as far as the team is concerned and his efforts in our last game were outstanding."
Beattie has vowed to repay his manager's faith in him and go from strength to strength in 2006.
"The first year has gone really quickly. Obviously I didn't have the best of starts, but hopefully this year I can put it right," he remarked
The striker is sure to receive a special welcome from former South Coast rivals Portsmouth when the sides meet at Fratton Park on Saturday, in what Moyes expects to be a hard battle.
Pompey have added several new players to their squad already this month, and are fighting to climb out of the relegation zone.
"Going to Portsmouth is a tough one, whether they'd signed new players or not," Moyes observed.
"It will give everyone at Portsmouth a boost, but as everyone knows, new players do not settle in right away. It is difficult to know what will happen until we have seen them play."