Moyes content despite draw
David Moyes felt Everton put in their best recent performance despite drawing 1-1 with Middlesbrough.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 16/11/08 6:18pm
Everton manager David Moyes felt his side put in their best recent performance despite being held to a 1-1 draw by Middlesbrough.
Boro broke forward to take an eighth-minute lead at Goodison Park through Gary O'Neil before ex-Boro striker Yakubu claimed a 65th-minute equaliser.
Everton were unable to claim a fourth straight league win but they are now unbeaten in five league games.
Although the Toffees dominated possession throughout, Boro were a constant threat on the break.
"I thought it was quite an open game," said Moyes. "Middlesbrough played very well on the counter-attack and made a few chances.
"The early goal did set us back because I thought we started well and were controlling the game.
"We knew that Middlesbrough are a threat on the counter-attack because they've got some speed and a lot of good legs going forward, and it caused us problems.
"After the early goal, we had to come out and left ourselves open on one or two occasions.
"But I thought we played better today than we've probably played in the last three or four games so from that point of view it's positive."
Late goals gave Everton victories against Bolton, Fulham and West Ham in their previous three games, with Louis Saha scoring his first three goals for the club.
Yakubu's return from injury allowed them to renew their partnership and while they failed to make the most of their opportunities, they linked up well in the Everton attack.
"We were firing blanks up front, we just couldn't get the goal when we had the chance," said Moyes.
"In football, as we've proved in recent weeks, when you take your opportunities it can get you results. Today we didn't take those opportunities.
"Their partnership was ok, they both had opportunities, and if they keep getting chances I'm sure the goals will come."
Yakubu saw a first-half effort saved by Ross Turnbull and had a strong penalty appeal turned down when he appeared to be tripped in the box by the Boro goalkeeper, but Moyes had no complaints.
"I think it's the sort of situation where if it's outside the box a free-kick's given for it," he added.
"Inside the box, the referee's got to be sure it's a penalty kick or not. I think it's one where sometimes you get and sometimes you don't."