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Moyes bemoans injuries as Everton progress in Europe

Everton defender Sylvain Distin is carted off
Everton defender Sylvain Distin is carted off during his side's Europa League win

Everton manager David Moyes was left to count the cost of his side's progress into the last 32 of the Europa League as three players suffered injuries.

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov scored in the 1-0 win over AEK Athens in the Olympic Stadium that saw the Toffees through the group stages with a match to spare.

But injuries to Jo, Sylvain Distin and Dan Gosling took the shine off the win.

"I don't think Jo's is serious, but I am concerned about Sylvain and Dan as both are hamstring strains," he said.

"We will have them assessed on Thursday.

"I think the main reason for the injuries is down to overloading them. Sylvain has had to play just about every minute of every game."

The trio join a host of other first-teamers in the treatment room, with the likes of Phil Jagielka, Joseph Yobo, Phil Neville and Mikel Arteta already on the sidelines.

And with high-flying Tottenham visiting Goodison Park on Sunday, Everton could do without further injuries as they look to pull away from the Premier League relegation zone.


Still, Moyes will be comforted by the performance of 17-year-old trio Seamus Coleman, Shane Duffy and Jose Baxter, who all played their part in an impressive win in dreadful conditions in Athens.

"Tonight was a case of needs must and I think the spirit of Everton was apparent among both the younger and more experienced players," said Moyes.

"The young players who came in did really well and I'm delighted with them.

"And Tony Hibbert, again playing out of position at centre-back, did a great job. They all worked so hard to get the result, it shows there is a heartbeat at the football club and hopefully we can kick on from here and improve."

Moyes admitted qualifying with a game to spare enables him to field a weakened team in the last group match against BATE as he looks to get some of his walking wounded back to fitness.

"It's very important to have qualified with a game to spare as it gives us a week where we don't need to be too intense with the squad," he said.

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see also
AEK Athens 0-1 Everton
02 Dec 09 |  Europe
Everton's Neville faces knee op
24 Nov 09 |  Everton

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