Moyes backing Johnson
David Moyes refused to blame Andy Johnson for the disappointing draw with Metalist Kharkiv.
Last Updated: 21/09/07 7:36am
Everton manager David Moyes refused to blame Andy Johnson for the disappointing 1-1 Uefa Cup draw with Metalist Kharkiv.
The former Crystal Palace man missed two penalties as The Toffees failed to overcome a side who finished the contest with just nine men.
Moyes has hailed Johnson's bravery and had no problems with the striker stepping up the take his second spot-kick after seeing his first saved, which he scored initially, but had to be re-taken due to encroaching.
The former Preston boss knows his troops must up their game if they are to progress to the second round of the competition.
"Andy was very brave to want to take the second penalty, I have no problems with that. If the player wants to take it, then take it," said Moyes.
"Andy wanted it, he so desperately wants to score a goal after so long without one. I admire him for that.
"If someone says 'no thanks' that is understandable too, but Andy was keen to take the responsibility again and I admire him for it. It was a brave thing to do.
"As for the second leg, we will have to go there and play a lot better. At the moment we are out because of their away goal, it is up to us to make sure we do much better out there."Mikel Arteta was a notable absentee and Moyes is hopeful the Spanish playmaker will be fit for Sunday's clash with Aston Villa.
"He kicked the ground during training and his ankle is swollen," he continued. "I was hoping he would make the European tie, now I just hope he is okay for Sunday.
"To be honest I have not thought too much about Sunday yet, but I think we will all need some lifting."