Moyes pragmatic over Everton title chances after beating Southampton
17:35 GMT, 29 September 2012
Everton manager David Moyes admits his side's lofty position in the Barclays Premier League may not be a concern for the title contenders just yet but it would be later in the season.
A 3-1 victory over Southampton, where the Toffees recovered from Gaston Ramirez's first goal in English football with a close-range effort from Leon Osman and two strikes from Nikica Jelavic in a 14-minute period before the interval, put them within three points of leaders Chelsea.
With a rebel Jel: Nikica Jelavic (right) just wanted more after netting the leveller
Everton have equalled their best
points haul of 13 from six Barclays Premier League matches from the
2004-05 season – when they went on to qualify for the Champions League
for the first and only time.
Moyes is keen for people to not get carried away but admits he is holding out hope of securing 'a dream spot' in the top four.
'I don't think Everton managers can
come in here and say “Let's avoid relegation” but I think that is always
the first route for every club and it still is for Everton,' said the
Scot, whose side are perennially poor starters.
fast start: Southampton's Uruguayan midfielder Gaston Ramirez celebrates after his opener
Knockout blow: Everton's Nikica Jelavic (left) and Southampton's Frazer Richardson battle for the ball
'The next part is then “can we make a European spot” and if you are very good “can you make the dream spots, the big ones”
'I'd like to be in there, in the mix,
during the season but I don't think Manchester United and Manchester
City will be worried to see Everton there at this time of the year.
'They might be worried if in April time we slip to the top of the league.'
Jump to it: Maya Yoshida (centre right) and Everton's Marouane Fellaini (centre) vie for posession
Moyes was pleased with the way his
side responded after going behind early on, especially after their
disappointing Capital One Cup exit at Leeds.
'We played ever so well at times in
the first half but it took us 15 minutes to get going as I felt there
was a bit of a hangover from the result in midweek,' he added.
'But they deserve great credit for going about their job and how well they played.
We're flying: Leon Osman notched Everton's third goal which effectively ended the game before the break
'It was nearly action every minute: it was great theatre for 30 minutes before half-time and we maybe could have scored more.
'I was clapping at the number of
opportunities and chances and you could see how much the crowd are
enjoying it so when you drop off (after half-time) it is quite
'It is always a dangerous score when
you are leading by two because you are worried if you concede one they
are back in the game and I think we played like that in the second
Three 'n' easy: Osman nets the killer third for Everton
Crunch: Kevin Mirallas feels the full force of Nathan Clyne's challenge
Southampton manager Nigel Adkins rued missed chances which would have turned the match in their favour.
'I think we started the game very well and for the first 20 to 25 minutes we have taken the game to Everton,' he said.
'We scored a good goal from a corner
and if Jay Rodriguez had gone in and scored (when clean through) to make
it 2-0 it might have been a different final reflection.
Pragmatic: David Moyes (left) is not getting carried away and Nigel Adkins (right) remains upbeat
'Goals change games and with 25
minutes gone the first real passage of play when Everton put a
consecutive period of passes together gave them a goal.
'The crowd got behind them, they
upped their tempo and the second goal came from a counter-attack which
changed the complexion of the game.
'For the 10 minutes before half-time Everton were well in the ascendancy and we weren't able to deal with it.
'Second half we came out with good
composure to pass the football and if Gaston Ramirez's little chip had
just gone inside the post rather than outside it could have been an
interesting final period.'
No strings: Nikica Jelavic (centre) netted a brace to keep Everton in sight of Chelsea at the top of the table