DAVID MOYES believes Everton’s dismal FA Cup exit made glaringly evident the frailties within his squad – but has backed his players to redouble efforts to secure European qualification.
The Goodison manager will this morning continue to pick up the pieces after his team’s shock 3-0 home quarter-final defeat to Premier League strugglers Wigan Athletic on Saturday.
The Latics netted three goals in 202 first-half minutes through Manuel Figueroa, Callum McManaman and Jordi Gomez to end Everton’s hopes of a second successive Wembley semi-final appearance.
Having won seven of 11 games before the January transfer window closed, Moyes’s men have won just two of their last seven.
And the Goodison manager admits the Cup humiliation underlined where Everton must improve if they are to end a trophy drought that now enters a 19th year.
“I've always known what I need to do to move it forward here, and I've always known what is required, but a lot of those things aren't apparent to people viewing from the outside,” said Moyes. “They don't always see.
“As the season goes on, those frailties we have identified do become more apparent and more people begin to notice them. Obviously they are more noticeable after performances like these.
“There were one or two things I saw even in the defeat of Reading last week where I thought we weren't quite there.”
Moyes added: “But I couldn't say if this was a defining moment. What we have tended to do in these situations is to bounce back very well – we lost a big game at Wembley last year and came back incredibly well.
“So I would expect the same from the players now and from me too. I have always said we were delighted we were fighting on two fronts, for a place in Europe and the cup semi-final, even if we knew we had frailties.
“Now we have one thing left, so I would expect us to give that a good go.”
Everton stand two points adrift of a Europa League qualification berth with 10 games remaining, and Moyes insists he has lost none of his hunger despite the poor weekend showing.