DAVID MOYES was pictured beaming earlier this week on receipt of his latest manager of the month award.
But the Goodison manager would have been forgiven for cursing under his breath at being left vulnerable to one of the Premier League’s most venerable hoodoos.
Only Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have won more than the nine monthly awards Moyes has now accrued during his decade-long tenure in charge at Goodison.
Past history, though, indicates Everton could struggle to replicate the form that earned Moyes his latest prize and has seen them ensconced in the top four.
The injury to Marouane Fellaini suggests the jinx has already struck.
Of the manager’s previous eight awards, only once – following his March 2010 gong – have Everton remained unbeaten in the top flight the next month.
Indeed, his most recent reward in October 2010 prompted a seven-game run without a league victory that saw them drop to within two points of the relegation zone.
This, however, is a different Everton.
The greater steel and stronger mentality within the squad allowed them to come from behind twice to earn a draw in last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Wigan Athletic.
What on paper may appear two points lost may ultimately prove one gained, Everton not at their best but still able to snaffle a reward thanks to an 87th-minute penalty nervelessly dispatched by Leighton Baines.
“Wigan were coming off a few defeats and they tried to make it a cup final,” said Everton assistant manager Steven Round. “You’ve got to go there and dig deep and show the character and spirit we’re renowned for and I think you saw that to come back twice.
“With a little bit more luck or maybe if it wasn’t for their goalkeeper, we might have come away with three points.
“It keeps the run going and when you’re trying to finish high up in the league you’ve got to get points at places like Wigan.”