Moyes desperate to get out of Liverpool's shadow
Published 22:30 12/03/12 By David Maddock
David Moyes goes into a potentially explosive Merseyside derby admitting his biggest regret is failing to knock Liverpool off their perch.
Moyes’ impressive 10-year stint as Everton manager has seen him often come close to overtaking his big-spending neighbours.
Although his Toffees finished ahead of them in 2005, to land a Champions League spot, he has never won at Anfield.
“I think I have always found whoever the Liverpool manager has been to be my toughest opponent,” revealed Moyes.
“It has always been a challenge to try to get close to them. That has been tough. We have always found it difficult.
"We have been there a few times, within touching distance, but I’ve never quite managed to get my hands on them.
“I think we have been in similar situations over the years and we have never been able to take the leap. We’ve got close numerous times, but apart from one year we were never quite able to do it.
“But that’s because of a number of other things that are quite obvious.
"We will have another chance to see if we can do it on this occasion. Last season, we took four points off Liverpool so we have always been in the hunt.
“They have had the spending power we can’t match, but recent results have shown that Everton, on a one-off, can be a match for them all.
“Everton have got players who wouldn’t be out of place in any of the teams above us, and that is why we can compete. That is why we are close but we just haven’t always made the leap to get over.”
While Moyes has never been able to compete on a financial footing with his cross-town rivals, he has often produced impressive results against them.
Another one on Tuesday night would lift his side above of Liverpool in the Premier League table.
That would provide some quiet satisfaction for the manager who expresses few regrets over his period in charge at Goodison.
But if there is one more thing he envies Liverpool for - beyond their massive spending - it is the quality of their local influence.
“I would have loved to have inherited Gerrard and Carragher, they are the heartbeat of Liverpool. Just as Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert are the heartbeat for us,” he said.
Moyes will shuffle his team to try to keep players fresh for a massive home FA Cup quarter-final against Sunderland on Saturday.