DAVID Moyes opted to swerve the post-match Press conference and let his assistant Steve Round do his talking for him yesterday.
Maybe it was understandable.
It was only Sunderland after all – a team Moyes has not lost to in over a decade of Sunderland trying.
In a way, we were perhaps lucky to get Round.
So predictable have these encounters become under the Scotsman that it’s almost a surprise he doesn’t send up a pre-prepared statement.
Something along the lines of: “Aye, you can never take Sunderland for granted but we stuck to our tasks and I think in the end we deserved the result.”
If appropriate the Everton Press office could trot out: “I think the four/five/six/seven goals we scored, maybe flattered us a little; it was much closer than that.”
Instead it was left for mild-mannered Round to do the talking for a game which needed little explanation to those who had watched it.
Everton had done what they have done over Sunderland for the previous 17 games – held the Indian sign over a team that seem unable in recent times to avoid standing in the sticky stuff whenever they play the Toffeemen.
All that Round could do was to reflect on how Everton could not be going into Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool in better spirits – though he was quick to point out the club were taking nothing for granted.
He said: “We rested several of our key players for the game as a precaution, and we’ve got no fresh injuries on the day – so that’s great.
“On top of that we couldn’t have had a better result to go into the semi-final.
“For that, I think we’ve got to give our chairman full credit because we did well in the January transfer window.
“We’ve been able to bring in some Grade A players because of him and that has lifted everyone and put us on a really good run of form.”
Of the cup itself, he said: “It’s good to have momentum and confidence going into any game and I don’t think there’s any doubt that we’ll have both.
“But an FA Cup semi-final is a one-off, and a local derby is a one-off – so when you put those two together, I don’t think it’ll be a case of picking who is favourite. It’s all about what happens on the day.”