Everton down to bare bones - Moyes
Published 18:45 18/02/12 By MirrorFootball
Everton boss David Moyes was delighted to see his side navigate their way past Blackpool and book a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals - particularly given the number of players he had unavailable.
The Toffees had an influential trio drop out of the team, with Landon Donovan being denied the chance to make a final appearance before returning to the Los Angeles Galaxy by illness and fellow loanee Steven Pienaar ineligible as he was cup-tied.
The third man missing from the line-up that had started the 2-0 Barclays Premier League win over Chelsea was Tim Cahill, who Moyes said was carrying "two or three injuries".
The manager - who has Shane Duffy, Nikica Jelavic, Phil Jagielka, Leon Osman, Jack Rodwell and Victor Anichebe in the treatment room as well - also revealed that Leighton Baines played this afternoon even though he had been sick just before kick-off.
Despite the list of absentees and casualties, Everton went on to win the tie at Goodison Park 2-0 thanks to two goals in the opening six minutes.
Moyes said afterwards: "The amount of players we had out, I don't know if I've had it as bad really.
"I'm sure I have, but it felt that way today. We didn't have Landon and Bainesy was sick on the pitch in the warm-up. He was as ill as anybody and I wasn't going to play him, but I told him to give it a go and we would see how he was, so for him to play (Baines lasted the full 90 minutes) says a lot about him.
"He has changed a lot - he is tough and resilient and is turning out to be a really good player.
"Tim Cahill is carrying two or three injuries at the moment and Shane Duffy is injured.
"We were really short, with not having Jelavic, Jagielka, Osman, Rodwell and Anichebe.
"It was a big job today to get through. Blackpool are a decent side and you saw the way they played in the Premier League last year. It was a tricky tie for us."
Royston Drenthe fired Everton ahead in the first minute after being teed up by Marouane Fellaini and Denis Stracqualursi struck from close range to double the lead five minutes later.
The Toffees had plenty of opportunities to extend their advantage but were unable to do so and survived several scares, with Blackpool twice hitting the woodwork in the second half before Kevin Phillips missed a penalty in stoppage time.
Moyes, wary of the threat posed by the npower Championship promotion-chasers, felt his side should have added to their tally to put the game beyond doubt.
"I think when you play Blackpool you are never in control," Moyes said.
"They score lots of goals in the last five minutes of games. Our goalkeeper (Tim Howard) made a brilliant save and they missed a penalty kick, so they had opportunities.
"We had six or seven great chances to put the game to bed and we didn't get the third goal. While it was still 2-0, Blackpool kept going."
Asked what he thought his team had learned from the game, Seasiders boss Ian Holloway said: "That we are a million miles away from them.
"I thought they were closing and pressing, that they understood what we were going to try to do and that we didn't see that and play the ball in the right areas.
"We have been beaten by the better team today, but I thought we showed character to come back into it later on in the game.
"A lot of teams I've had in the past might have gone completely and capitulated there, but we managed to haul ourselves back into it.
"But we were nowhere near as good as we normally are because David has a great team here."