Moyes: Everton will need to strengthen
David Moyes has warned that Everton will need up to six extra players if they have to cope with a European campaign next season.
Moyes' side are in sixth place, six points from a Champions League spot, as they prepare to host next-to-bottom Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League on Saturday.
With seven games to play, Everton are four points off fifth spot, which would guarantee a place in next season's Europa League. But Moyes, whose own future remains a subject of speculation, believes that a major squad rebuilding job is needed at Goodison Park.
The manager's contract expires in the summer, and he has indicated that he will wait until the end of the season before deciding whether to sign a new one.
Moyes acknowledges that if he does sign a new deal, he faces plenty of work in reshaping his team. He believes that the departure of Phil Neville, who is leaving at the end of the season after eight years at Goodison Park, is a sign of big changes ahead.
Moyes said: "We're probably at a stage where we are on the verge of having to start rebuilding a new team. That's the way forward. With Phil Neville going, that's one of the big pieces of the jigsaw leaving."
Juggling the demands of rebuilding a squad with the tests of a European campaign will be a big test for Everton's manager. And Moyes has sympathy with Wednesday's comments by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who said his side might benefit from a season out of Europe to give them a chance to focus on challenging at the top end of the Premier League.
The Everton boss said: "They're fortunate; they've been in Europe this season and in years before. We've missed it over the last couple of years. But I take the point. And I think if we make it into Europe, we're going to have to find a way of getting another five or six players on top of what we've got - because of the way your squad's affected.
"Newcastle have had a brilliant run in the Europa League and so have Tottenham. The clubs that don't have a big enough squad are the ones who get affected by playing Thursday-Sunday. I think the Champions League's different. Playing on a Wednesday makes a big difference.
"It's maybe just a small psychological difference. But over the course of the season, if you continue playing Thursday-Sunday, it can disrupt your working week."