Moyes delighted to see Jelavic back on goal trail after netting winner against Spurs
22:38 GMT, 9 December 2012
David Moyes saluted a return to scoring form for Nikica Jelavic as late lapses once more cost Tottenham dear at Goodison Park.
Jelavic grabbed a dramatic winner with only his second goal since the start of October, just seconds after Steven Pienaar had hauled Everton level with a 90th-minute header.
While Andre Villas-Boas was left reflecting on the loss of 14 points to goals scored in the final 15 minutes of games this season, Moyes could not contain his elation, as he ran on to the pitch and danced a jig of delight.
Back on form: Everton's Nikica Jelavic earned all three points for his side
‘I thought it was a great finish by Nikita, and it can only do him good,’ said the Everton manager. ‘To be alert and alive to the situation and finish first time like that was excellent.
‘There has been some frustration in his play in recent weeks, but he has been getting closer to his true level.
‘A win like this can give you a real lift and make a huge difference to your season. It shows the belief and persistence among the players. I thought they showed great character.
‘It was as good a finish to a game as we
have had for some time. We have been on the end of a few lately that
have gone against us, so we were due one in our favour.
Party time: Jelavic (left) peels away to celebrate scoring the winner
'If we hadn’t
won, I would have been asking why not, because I thought our play was
terrific, especially in the first half. It is a bit early to be talking
about Europe, but where we are in the table does not shame us or the way
we have been playing one bit.’
Kevin Mirallas’ half-time withdrawal with a tight hamstring was the only concern for Moyes, who said: ‘The last thing we want is a recurrence of his hamstring injury, and I hope that’s not the case. He felt it tighten a bit, but I don’t think it is as bad as it might have been.’
Villas-Boas was at a loss to explain how his side have frittered away so many points by conceding late goals.
Pure delight: David Moyes celebrates Everton's late win against Tottenham
‘It has been our adventure in the Premier League this season to concede late on, and if we hadn’t, we would be top of the table now,’ he said. ‘There are so many different reasons for it, and it is not easy to explain.
‘They have come from different situations, for one thing, but we are aware of the problem and know we have to address it. I didn’t expect to lose one point, let alone all three, but once they got one goal, I could tell they were going to have a go at getting a second.
‘There is a strong possibility Gareth Bale could be fit for our next game, but I felt Clint Dempsey did well in his position on the left. The problem was that Everton became a bit more aggressive with their approach play, and started hitting us with long balls, and we suffered as a consequence. It was a very disappointing result.’