Premier League

Everton boss David Moyes proud of Everton's rise to European challengers in 2012

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Everton boss David Moyes feels his side can be proud of what they have achieved in 2012.

They head into Sunday's Premier League match with Chelsea with the chance of ending the year as high as third place, boasting a squad that is much deeper and more talented than in previous seasons.

The signings of Nikica Jelavic, Darron Gibson and Steven Pienaar last January sparked their usual second-half revival, lifting them to seventh place, and they have carried that momentum into the 2012-13 season.

Moyes said: "I think we have had a good year. From this time last year we kicked on and finished the season very strongly and from the start of this one we have been the same.

"I think we would have to say it is maybe as good as we have had. I think our football has improved and we look a threat.

"With Jelavic's arrival, with his goals - he has given us something we have not had for a long time. And I think overall you have seen big improvements.

"The Leighton Baines-Steven Pienaar partnership is back together, the form of people like Leon Osman and Darron Gibson... overall we have been really pleased with 2012."

But Moyes feels fans still have to be realistic in their thoughts of potentially reaching the Champions League places, adding: "That is what we will try to do, but it is going to be tough.

"If anyone thinks we are a shoo-in to do it - I'm telling them it is going to be a long, hard season.

"There are a lot of difficult away games to come and we are going to need the crowd at Goodison to help us in games like last Saturday against Wigan, when we had to dig it out and see it through."