Everton boss hails Gers counterpart

Moyes: Frugal Smith's success inspires

May 2, 2011

Everton manager David Moyes says predecessor Walter Smith remains a source of inspiration as he bids to plug the huge financial gulf separating his team from the top Premier League clubs.

David Moyes has had to battle constantly for transfer funds at Everton
PA PhotosDavid Moyes has had to battle constantly for transfer funds at Everton

Smith has led Rangers to two successive Scottish Premier League titles during a two-year spell when the club's debt prevented him buying any players.

The Rangers manager, who will make way for Ally McCoist later this month, was able to bring players in at the start of this season but saw the size of his squad reduced further.

However, his team are pushing Celtic all the way for the title, sitting a point ahead having played a game more, despite being significantly outspent by their Old Firm rivals.

Given Rangers' budget dwarves all their other SPL rivals other than Celtic, Moyes - and Smith before him - faced more frustrating constraints with Everton unable to compete financially with the top English clubs.

But Moyes has still led Everton to four top-six finishes since replacing Smith at Goodison Park in March 2002.

"Managers have to work with no money sometimes,'' Moyes said. "To be a great manager doesn't mean to say that it's because you have money and you buy players. You also have to find ways of winning without money and make the best out your team, and I think that's what Walter has done.''

Former Celtic defender Moyes, who was back in Glasgow for last night's PFA Scotland awards dinner, added: "Walter has been someone I have always looked up to. When I played for the Scottish youth team a long time ago it was Andy Roxburgh who was the manager and Walter was the assistant. So I have sort of known him from those days.

"When I took the Everton job I had to make sure he was giving me my blessing, that he was happy with that. I have always found him a really good guy. He will be one of the great Scottish managers, that's for sure.

"Every time I see him I have to say: 'How many trophies have you won? They are coming out of your ears, there are so many'. And here's me standing here with none. One would be nice for me and he's got hundreds of them.''

Everton sit seventh in the table following their 1-1 draw at Wigan on Saturday, a position many would argue is the best they can hope for given the financial might of the clubs above them.

Moyes' future has been the subject of much speculation this season after Everton endured a slow start to the campaign, and last week reports linked him with Aston Villa. But the 48-year-old remains determined to find ways to overcome the financial disparity.

"It's been difficult because we don't have the cash to spend big,'' Moyes said. "But that's what you have to do, you have to find other ways and try not to get yourself in a position where you think you have no chance. I have always hoped, and I think everyone would, that football is not just about money. Unfortunately it looks very much like that.

"But I think real football people would like to think that maybe there are some people who can do it out there with no money, and find some players from the lower leagues or non-league teams and can come in and have that freshness to football that I think we were all brought up with.''