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Moyes hopes for change of luck

David Moyes has called on his Everton players to do themselves justice in Sunday's Merseyside derby - and hopes they are not shortchanged by controversial refereeing decisions.

• Everton v Liverpool preview

Moyes' derby day experiences during his ten years in charge at Goodison Park have often been a mixture of disappointment, frustration and anger.

The Everton manager has won only four of his 23 Merseyside derbies, and has seen his side collect ten red cards to Liverpool's four, but he hopes to be smiling on Sunday.

He said: "Probably over the years, Everton haven't done enough to compete against Liverpool and, because of that, maybe Liverpool haven't considered Everton that big a threat - and rightly so - but I think that now we're getting a bit closer."

Moyes has seen his side finish no fewer than three of his 23 derby clashes with nine men, with David Weir and Gary Naysmith sent off in a 2-1 home defeat in April 2003 and Phil Neville and Mikel Arteta red-carded as Liverpool won 3-1 at Goodison Park in December 2005.

The most controversial derby of the lot, though, saw Neville and Tony Hibbert sent off by Mark Clattenburg in October 2007, as Liverpool won 2-1 thanks to two penalties from Dirk Kuyt, who had earlier escaped a sending-off for a reckless waist-high challenge.

Moyes was also angered by the harsh red card shown to Jack Rodwell by referee Martin Atkinson for a tackle on Luis Suarez as Liverpool won 2-0 at Goodison Park last October.

Andre Marriner will take charge of Sunday's Merseyside derby - his first - and Moyes is hoping that the post-match focus will be on a good Everton performance rather than the officials.

The manager has been frustrated by a number of refereeing decisions that have gone against his side this season, with two legitimate goals ruled out against Newcastle last month, an Arouna Kone strike against Everton for Wigan that looked offside and a harsh red card for Steven Pienaar at QPR last Sunday.

Moyes, who must make do without the suspended Pienaar, said: "It was a terrible decision. I don't know how many times I've repeated myself. The boy kicked Steven Pienaar, and Steven Pienaar got punished for it. What can you do? We can't do anything about it, so we've moved on from it.

"I can think of some of the decisions we've had this year. There was Newcastle, where we had a couple of goals not given, Wigan the other week, where their first goal was offside, then the sending off at QPR. And you go back to last year's derby, where it was a terrible decision to send off Jack Rodwell.

"We've still never had an apology from the referee or the head of the referees' association regarding that incident. But there you go. That one's well gone. It's in the past now, and I shouldn't even be talking about it really."

He added: "I think it's unfair to talk about the sendings off unless you look at the decisions. Last year's sending off was a dive and a really poor decision from the referee. You have to look at that."

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