Kendall backs Everton to secure Champions League place

FORMER Everton manager Howard Kendall has backed the club to claim a Champions League place and believes David Moyes has put the foundations in place to bring back the glory days to Goodison Park.

Not since Kendall's first spell in charge have the club held a 12-point advantage over city rivals Liverpool, and they are second in the Premiership with just Chelsea above them.

Now Kendall believes the collective spirit and managerial acumen of Moyes will make them trophy challengers for years to come.

"David Moyes has an opportunity now to establish Everton as a genuinely top club the foundations are there, it's a case of keeping the momentum going," he said.

"People have said they can't sustain their position, and that's lovely for them really because there's no pressure on them. Everyone at the club is just delighted to be where they are. All the talk is about Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal for the championship yet Everton are sitting second, with no pressure on them.

"You never know, there are other distractions for the other clubs with the Champions League. I can certainly see Everton finishing in a Champions League place," he said.

Everton enjoyed their most successful period ever under former Toffees player Kendall in the 1980s. They won two league titles, one FA Cup and the European Cup Winners' Cup before he stood down after the second title success in 1987.

However, they have never recaptured those days since and finished a dismal 17th in the Premiership last season.

"It's a dramatic change from last season. David came in and started well, had a good first season but things started to go wrong last season. What is the secret? It's good man-management, the players look as if they want to play together. They're not conceding many goals and Nigel Martyn has performed brilliantly.

"The new signings Marcus Bent and Tim Cahill have done very well. A few people were waiting to see what would happen with them because they weren't household names Bent had had a number of clubs, I don't think many people knew too much about Cahill either. He's very good in the air.

"The system they play suits a lot of the players, Thomas Gravesen and Lee Carsley, in particular. Gravesen likes to get forward, but if you play with four in the middle it is difficult for whoever is partnering him in the centre, but with the five in there he has that licence to roam and go wandering."

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