Moyes ignores form book
Everton manager David Moyes is not interested in the statistics that suggest his side should comfortably beat Middlesbrough at Goodison Park on Sunday.
Boro have not found travelling to Merseyside a pleasant experience this decade, having played Liverpool or Everton a total of 17 times in the Premier League, winning none and losing 11.
To compound matters for Gareth Southgate's team, Middlesbrough have not scored at Goodison Park in their last four visits since Joseph-Desire Job earned them a 1-1 draw in March 2004.
But despite all that, Moyes insists the numbers will mean nothing when the two teams line-up.
"Those things are by-the-by really, although they were sounding good," he said. "I have said though that every game is different and you have to treat it on its merits and you have to take it as it comes.
"We have a changed squad from last year and Middlesbrough have a changed team from last year as well. You always hope that if you do have a good record against a team that can inspire you and we can keep it going but it does not mean too much."
Southgate's side sit just one point and one place behind Everton, in seventh, and are unbeaten in their last four matches - the same as the Toffees.
Since his appointment in June 2006, the former England defender has found managerial life tough at times and Boro have won only 27 Premier League matches from the 88 they have played under Southgate's stewardship.
However, the former England defender appears to be winning over reluctant sections of Middlesbrough's fanbase and Moyes said he is delighted for him and it proves that if clubs stick by their managers then the results will follow.
"I am very impressed with Gareth Southgate," Moyes added. "He has earned his stripes there and come through some difficult times and he has a good side. I watched them last week and they played very well.
"I think you have heard me say enough times that you need good directors and good chairmen and I think from a distance that looks like what Middlesbrough have got. They have good people there and they are getting the rewards because they can see his team coming through and the manager is developing and getting more mature in his job and gaining confidence and he is doing very well."
Moyes watched Middlesbrough's 2-1 win at Aston Villa last week and said he was impressed - and worried - by the efficiency of their display.
Two goals for Tuncay Sanli helped Boro to a 2-1 victory over Martin O'Neill's side and has convinced Moyes Boro possess a genuine threat to his team.
He added: "I have been impressed by Middlesbrough, their performance against Aston Villa was very good, they had a very good balance and shape to their side and they played well.
"They have some threats with Stewart Downing and Tuncay so they have players who are creative and good players. They were attacking and showed really good things going forward.
"To get a result at Aston Villa is no mean feat but as always we are the home side and we have to take the initiative."