Everton news

Moyes wants more from Mirallas, Jelavic

February 22, 2013
By Mike Whalley

David Moyes has set Kevin Mirallas and Nikica Jelavic the challenge of raising their game to aid Everton's push for Europe.

Kevin Mirallas and Nikica Jelavic EVerton
PA PhotosKevin Mirallas has only recently come back from injury, while Nikica Jelavic is without a goal in two months

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Mirallas, the 25-year-old Belgium forward who has been used regularly as a winger this season, has started the club's last three league games after recovering from hamstring problems.

The £5.3 million summer signing from Greek champions Olympiakos appears to be getting back to form - but Moyes reckons he can still do better.

"I don't think he is firing on all cylinders," Moyes said. "He has not returned the way I would like him yet. He is still getting used to the Premier League and I think he has to create me more goals and score me more goals.

"That's what I am waiting for him to do, and he knows that. I have told him that. We're hoping for more. I think his form at the start of the season was excellent and we saw what he was capable of. I don't think we have really had that from him since he came back from his injury."

And the manager feels the same about Croatia striker Jelavic, who has not scored a league goal for more than two months, and who was dropped to the bench at the end of January.

Jelavic, who hit 11 goals for Everton last season following his January move from Rangers, was restored to the starting line-up for last Saturday's 2-2 FA Cup fifth-round draw at Oldham.

The 27-year-old has shown signs in training that he is getting back to his best, which has encouraged Moyes, whose side lie sixth in the Premier League - six points of a top-four spot - as they prepare to travel to Norwich on Saturday.

"That's what we need. We need Nicky to come back into it. He was a big player for us at this time last year. He scored a lot of goals at this time last season. He did a good job.

"That's what we could do with right now. We could do with him coming up and giving us the goals, because I don't think we've played that badly. I think we've played quite well in a lot of the games.

"We've maybe just been missing a little bit of the edge to get us the goals at times. I hope he can provide that spark."

Jelavic could be in contention for a starting spot, as fellow striker Victor Anichebe is an injury doubt after coming of at half-time against Oldham.

Defender Seamus Coleman, who has not played for more than a month because of a thigh problem, is back in training, and could be in the squad.

Moyes is determined to focus on Everton's bid to qualify for next season's Champions League and progress in the FA Cup, despite revealing last week that he would not be sorting out his own future until the summer.

The Everton manager is out of contract at the end of the season, but wants to see how his side do over the next two-and-a-half months before deciding whether to commit himself to the club.

But asked how he would respond to suggestions that the uncertainty over his future could have an adverse effect on his players and the club's plans for next season, Moyes' answer was short and emphatic. "I think that's rubbish," he said.