sport

Everton leave Moyes all smiles

Everton's recent performances have put a smile on the face of manager David Moyes, who admits he has been lifted by their results.

The Toffees have lost just twice in 14 matches and having won at Swansea last weekend they booked an FA Cup semi-final slot against Liverpool with a midweek win over Sunderland.

There has been a noticeable upturn since January and Moyes has even allowed himself to enjoy their last two games.

"Certainly Swansea and Sunderland we played really well and hopefully the team have come into good form at the right time," said the Scot.

"We have been on a decent run without it being great so there have been good signs.

"It has been a good period for us. Things have been getting a little bit better but I've not always been delighted.

"We have won some big games and I still didn't think we had played as well as I would have liked but the last couple of games I've been pleased I could come away and say 'I'm having a bit of that'.

"From that point of view I have enjoyed the performances, obviously the results have been great.

"When you are a manager and you work and don't get many results, and have to come and speak to the media and explain how it didn't go so well, it is difficult.

"You put in the work and the hours to try to get the results and I am not putting in any more work now than 12 weeks ago.

"But if you don't get the results or the players are not performing then that is why you see me a bit miserable quite often because I want us to do well.

"But when you play well as we have done recently, it lifts the manager."

Moyes certainly has had more of a spring in his step recently and he is happy to pass on that to his players, although it does not mean he will go easy on them.

"I tell them when they are playing badly but I also tell them when they are playing well, I have no problem with that," he added.

"I enjoy patting them on the back but still keeping them on the straight and narrow.

"We are trying to build confidence and make them play better but they deserve a little bit of praise and credit just now."

Moyes is pleasantly surprised the signings he made in January have paid off probably better than he expected.

He signed Nikica Jelavic for 5.5million from Rangers and Darron Gibson from Manchester United for 500,000, bringing Steven Pienaar back to the club on loan from Tottenham and also Landon Donovan on a short-term deal from Los Angeles Galaxy.

"I have never been a fan of signing people in January because I feel you don't get a good deal but we needed to do it," said the Toffees boss.

"Looking at Jelavic (who has scored three goals in eight appearances) at the moment it does look a good deal.

"We got Darron Gibson for a fair price so what they need to do is come and justify their price - whatever it is - and Nikica, Darron, Landon and Steven have all contributed.

"That has given the rest of the players a boost in confidence and given everyone at the club the feeling they are doing that much better."

Everton host West Brom on Saturday, having lost to the Baggies just twice at home in the league in the last 56 years.

The Toffees won at the Hawthorns on New Year's Day and Moyes thinks that possibly marked a turning point.

"It was a really tight game but one we needed to win," he said.

"They are always hard to break down, difficult to beat, really well drilled and organised so you know you are going to have a hard game."