Moyes defends AJ input

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Everton boss David Moyes believes Andy Johnson did his international prospects no harm despite playing a prominent role during a difficult week for England.

The striker started against Israel and Andorra in a double-header of games that culminated in travelling supporters demanding that manager Steve McClaren be sacked.

Following a goalless game in Tel Aviv, torrents of abuse from the stands rained down as early as 20 minutes into the 3-0 win over Andorra as McClaren bore the brunt of fans' frustration at England's recent form.

Johnson did not manage to score against the minnows on a forgettable outing for England's players, but Moyes feels his star man did enough to prove that he can be an asset for his country in the future.

"Andy handled things well, he did as well as anybody against Israel and against Andorra in that first half he looked the most likely to score," said Moyes. "He had shots saved and one just over.

"He didn't do any worse than anyone else, I was happy for him. But it is a new sort of pressure, there is a bigger pressure than even what he has had to handle with us this season.

"But people want to play for their country, that won't change. But you get into the international team by playing well for your club side and he has been doing that for Everton.

"He deserved his call-up. His main attribute is his pace and getting in behind defences, and that was made very hard by how deep Andorra defended.

"He was almost clear once but was pulled down. You do get opportunities like that so you need pace and quickness of mind, and he certainly has that.

"And when teams play deep you need a big player to toss the ball into, that could also help the support player like Andy. But England didn't have that.

"It was all down to Andy virtually on his own."