Wednesday 22 November 2017

Moyes: Duffy is star in making

EVERTON boss David Moyes believes the club have a potential star in Shane Duffy but is only intending to ease the Irish defender into the first-team picture.

Moyes has given the 20-year-old a chance this month with first-choice centre-backs Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin out injured.

After appearing as a substitute against Tottenham earlier this month, the Republic of Ireland U21 international has started the last two Premier League games.

Duffy, who spent the first part of the season on loan at Scunthorpe, even went close to scoring in what was an impressive full home debut against Blackburn but Moyes is playing down expectations.

He said: "Shane has done really well and he has got something.

"He will certainly have a good career in the game and we hope it is at Everton.

"But the level is going to step up -- the more you play, people start to look for more from you.

"We want Shane to keep doing things simply, not over-complicating it.

"He will be feeling good about himself and we want him to play that way, but we will have to keep an eye on him closely."

Moyes must decide whether to retain Duffy for tonight's FA Cup fourth-round tie against Fulham at Goodison Park or reshuffle his back line by recalling fit-again veteran Tony Hibbert.

Whoever plays will have to deal with the threat of in-form American striker Clint Dempsey, who has scored two hat-tricks in his last three games.

Moyes is a long-time admirer of the former New England Revolution player, who cost the Cottagers £1.5million in 2007.

Moyes said: "We tried to get him at the same time as Fulham but we didn't think the valuation was right.

"He's been up and down but he's done well.

"I don't think he's been on the tip of everybody's tongue all the time but he has been steady at Fulham and is certainly scoring a few goals at present."


Everton's own attacking midfield force, Tim Cahill, ended a 13-month goal drought in last week's draw with Blackburn.

Moyes said: "You have to keep plugging away as a player and I hope it takes him into a run of goals.

"You hope when they score one they go on to score a few more."

Tonight's fixture has meant an unfamiliar routine this week for Everton, but Moyes likes the game's timeslot.

He said: "I have quite enjoyed it.

"If you gave me a choice of Friday night or Sunday, I would take Friday night all day long.

"I hope it doesn't deter anyone from bringing their kids but I think most people quite like a Friday-night game."

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