Everton target further progress
Everton boss David Moyes has challenged his players to drag themselves up the Barclays Premier League table after seeing them bounce back from their FA Cup exit at Newcastle.
Moyes got the perfect response from his team in the wake of their midweek cup defeat by npower Championship Reading to win 2-1 at St James' Park and ease themselves into the top 10.
Assistant manager Steve Round revealed after the game that the Scot has set his players only one target for the remainder of the season, saying: "The manager has said to the team that the only goal for us now is to win the next game and let's see where that takes us."
He added: "It's a strange league. Last season, we got 61 points and that got us eighth - I think if you get 61 points this season, you will be in the top six, maybe even the top five, we will see. The goal really is just to win the next game and see where it goes. There will be a lot fewer points needed to finish higher up the league this year."
Everton showed great character to emerge with a victory as they were forced to come from behind on Tyneside, although when Newcastle took the lead, they did so slightly against the run of play with 23 minutes gone.
Fabricio Coloccini caught the Merseysiders flat-footed with a quickly-taken free-kick to Jonas Gutierrez and when he picked out Mike Williamson inside the box, he did well to feed the ball on to skipper Kevin Nolan.
The midfielder fired firmly across keeper Tim Howard, who could only parry the ball to Leon Best to hand him the simplest of headers.
But the lead lasted only eight minutes as Leon Osman and the hugely impressive Mikel Arteta combined for the former to sidefoot home the equaliser.
The visitors took a decisive lead within five minutes when the Magpies stood and watched as Phil Jagielka ghosted in at the back post to fire home from Leighton Baines' teasing free-kick.
Best had a 78th-minute header chalked off for a push on Jagielka, but with a little more composure, Everton could have won even more comfortably as a series of chances went begging at the death with Newcastle engaged in a desperate, but ultimately fruitless, rescue mission.