Everton v Liverpool: Divers will turn fans away - David Moyes

 

Everton boss David Moyes has warned ahead of Sunday's Merseyside derby at Goodison Park that players who dive will drive fans away from football.

"People are going to turn away if they continue to watch people throw themselves on the ground," he said.

The Scot admitted Jack Rodwell's red card - later revoked - for a tackle on Liverpool's Luis Suarez in the same fixture last year still rankled.

"We got really badly done by a terrible refereeing decision," he added.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis called for Suarez to be banned earlier this season, believing that the Uruguayan attempted to deceive the referee into awarding a penalty during the teams' goalless draw at Anfield in October.

Merseyside derby red cards

  • 1 October 2011 - Jack Rodwell
  • 6 February 2010 - Sotiros Kyrgiakos & Steven Pienaar
  • 4 February 2009 - Lucas
  • 27 September 2008 - Tim Cahill
  • 20 October 2007 - Tony Hibbert & Phil Neville
  • 25 March 2006 - Steven Gerrard & Andy van der Meyde
  • 28 December 2005 - Phil Neville & Mikel Arteta
  • 20 March 2005 - Milan Baros
  • 19 April 2003 - David Weir & Gary Naysmith
  • 16 April 2001 - Igor Biscan
  • 29 October 2000 - Thomas Gravesen
  • 27 September 1999 - Sander Westerveld, Francis Jeffers & Steven Gerrard

And Moyes believes that referees need to be careful in their assessment of each incident to avoid a repeat of Martin Atkinson's mistaken dismissal of Rodwell last season.

"I think it's important you do get someone who's strong enough to identify what are the right challenges and the wrong ones," he said.

The former Preston boss has won only four matches out of 23 against Liverpool since swapping Deepdale for Everton a decade ago, losing four of his last five home Premier League derbies at Goodison.

But he emphasises that, despite the importance of the game on Merseyside, the success of Everton's season is not dependent on the outcome.

With Everton six points and eight places above their Stanley Park neighbours, Moyes is concentrating on building on a strong start to a league campaign from a side that has been taken its time to get into its stride in recent seasons.

"We didn't beat Liverpool last year and we finished above them in the league so it's a really important three points but it might not make a big difference to the league position come the end of the season," Moyes added.

"The important thing is to see if we can stay up there in a lofty position. We've very rarely been up there at this time of the season.

"We go into the game in good fettle, we've got a bit of momentum, we've started quite brightly and hopefully we'll continue to play the way we have done."