Moyes lauds Toffees defence

Boss salutes the efforts of his back four

David Moyes: Pleased with the performance of his back four

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David Moyes believes Everton's defensive resilience deserves more credit, with the Toffees' success this season built on solid foundations.

A slow start to the campaign saw Moyes' back four called into question, with it suggested that deficiencies in a key area of the field were leaving the Toffees exposed.

Now the Merseysiders appear to be making their customary strong finish to a season, it is the likes of attacking pair Nikica Jelavic and playmaker Steven Pienaar who are earning the plaudits.

Yet while Moyes is delighted with the performances of his January signings, and another new arrival in Darron Gibson, the Scot is not overlooking his back line.

Moyes said: "I think we have always had a strong defensive base and that is why we tend to be strong.

Questions

"But at the start of the year we were being asked questions about the goals we were conceding but we weren't playing that well and we couldn't score.

"But over the year we have tended to be quite defensively strong and hopefully we will finish with a strong defensive record.

"In the last few games it's been important to keep clean sheets to encourage us to get more points.

"I think we have all had a big lift from scoring the goals from January. Let's hope we continue to do so."

Ordinarily Leighton Baines would feature prominently in any discussion regarding the merits of Everton's defence, but the England international has missed the last three games through injury.

Versatility

Centre-back Sylvain Distin has filled in at left-back and Moyes has hailed the Frenchman's flexibility.

He said: "I think everyone who comes to Everton knows they might have to do more than one job.

"We weren't quite so sure about Sylvain going to left-back but most of the players are adaptable. Phil Neville has played in midfield many times, and at right-back.

"Sylvain has helped us out at left-back and the form of our three centre-backs has allowed us to change them around.

"We have lost a bad goal here or there but in the main they have been in decent form. We have kept a few clean sheets, and got pretty good competition there."