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Moyes faces Everton striker shortage

SoccerNews in English Premier League 1 Dec 2008

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Everton manager David Moyes faces a striker crisis after Ayegbeni Yakubu and Louis Saha limped off during his side's 1-0 win at Tottenham.

Nigerian forward Yakubu suffered an Achilles injury which will rule him out for the rest of the season after falling awkwardly following a challenge with Ledley King.

His replacement, France hitman Saha, fared little better as he aggravated his hamstring injury to deepen Moyes' problems in attack.

With James Vaughan requiring surgery on his knee, Moyes will be looking for loan signings when the January transfer window opens to bolster his attacking options.

“It's a massive blow for us,” Moyes said of Yakubu's loss.

“His record in the Premier League is around 18 goals a season and to replace that is very difficult. I have Victor Anichebe and one or two other kids.”

Moyes will also be looking for his midfield to provide attacking support as Steven Pienaar did for the winner against Harry Redknapp's side.

Pienaar had delayed the start of the second half by wearing Leon Osman's shirt instead of his own – then grabbed his goal six minutes after the restart.

“He was changing next to 'Ossy' and pulled on the wrong shirt,” Moyes said. “Maybe 'Ossy' will claim the goal.”

Pienaar was fouled by Aaron Lennon then was fed the ball by Mikel Arteta's quick free-kick, with the 20-yard finish cannoning in off Vedran Corluka and wrong-footing goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.

The visitors, led by Phil Jagielka in defence, soaked up late pressure to make it three wins in row at Spurs' ground – a fitting way to celebrate Moyes' 300th game in charge of the Toffees

“I'm really fortunate to be given 300 games as a manager,” he said. “A lot of managers don't get given time these days. I hope I get another 300 and hope the good times are still to come.

“I'm not going to overtake Sir Alex Ferguson if he goes on but this is a big honour.”

Redknapp felt his side switched off for Pienaar's winner, which left the hosts facing a huge task to save a point.

“They are a difficult team to play against,” Redknapp said. “We gave a terrible goal away – we switched off at the free-kick and they are very difficult to beat when they have their noses in front.

“We turned our back on the ball, they play a short one and it's in the back of the net with half of us not looking at the ball. It cost us the game.”

It was Redknapp's first home defeat and only his second since taking charge.

“We've had a fantastic run, without that we would be in big trouble,” he added. “We've now got West Ham and then Manchester United in the league next and they are two very tough games.”

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