Strikers must share workload - David Moyes
DAVID MOYES is urging his strikers to share the heavy workload as Everton attempt to escape the lower reaches of the Premier League table.
Manager Moyes started Saturday's 1-1 home draw against Manchester United with both Louis Saha and Yakubu up front for the first time and both lasted until the final couple of minutes of a relentless contest.
With Yakubu often criticised for his laid-back approach and Saha still regaining full fitness following his long-term injury problems, the striking duo put in an encouraging shift as Everton showed signs of ending their winless run.
They go to Bolton tomorrow night hoping for a first victory in nine games - and Moyes is warning his forwards to forget about waiting for pretty passes into feet in the urgent search for Premier League points.
"I think they're going to have to do more of what they did (on Saturday)," said Moyes.
"I think hopefully the both of them will have seen that they need to lift their standards because we've not got up to the standard where we can roll nice balls into them and play balls in that are easy for them.
"At the moment we're kind of saying, 'No, you're going to have to fight and scamper with the other eight or nine players in the team."
Whether Moyes decides to go for two up front at the Reebok hinges on the options he has at his disposal in midfield.
Tim Cahill will return from the three-match suspension he picked up for his red card in the Merseyside derby a month ago as Moyes considers whether he can accommodate both him and Marouane Fellaini.
In the three league games Cahill has missed, the record signing has thrived in the role of attacking from midfield, with two goals including the second-half equaliser against United.
Moyes said: "We definitely needed his stature and he's scored us two important goals in our last two home games.
"At times it might be that we can play both him and Cahill - but maybe on others we can't."
Despite the improved performance at the weekend, Everton are still in 14th place and only two points clear of the bottom three.
But they are a point ahead of both tomorrow's opponents and Saturday's visitors Fulham, so the opportunity to boost the points tally is seemingly there for the taking in the next four days.
Moyes said: "I couldn't call any game at the moment a winnable game.
"Every game will have to be treated on its own merit and hopefully we'll work really hard again and get something from them."
Moyes could have a full strength squad to choose from with the exception of Danish full-back Lars Jacobsen, who will be out until Christmas following a dislocated shoulder.
Right-back Tony Hibbert is set to return tomorrow after he was told to rest his ankle injury over the weekend.
"Tony Hibbert had a fitness test on Saturday and he was okay really, and obviously knowing Tony, he was desperate to play," said Everton physio Mick Rathbone.
"But we decided it was sore and we would give it some more rest before the game on Wednesday. Hopefully he will be training Monday and he will be ready for Wednesday.
"If he trains okay today he will be ready for Wednesday but we will have to wait and see on that one.
"Other than that, there were no evident injuries from the Manchester United game. So hopefully, all being well, nobody will come in with any knocks."