David Moyes - Norwich City have been a surprise package in the Premier League
Everton chief David Moyes insists FA Cup semi-final places are on the line at Carrow Road tomorrow.
Moyes has ruled out any chance of freewheeling through the next two Premier League encounters over Easter ahead of an epic last four showdown against Liverpool Wembley next weekend.
'To win the next game is the most important one, it always is,' he said. 'They are playing for their places just now, whether it be a semi-final or a league game, they have to play for their places to be in the team and it has been like that all year. The important thing is to keep the momentum going into the Norwich game and we did that with a win against West Brom. We have two difficult games Saturday and Monday and if we want to keep ourselves in a decent league position we are going to have to try to pick up some points. It has probably been the best run we've had this season but we want to keep it going.
'We were in a really tough schedule in March but we feel much better after a bit of rest. The players have confidence because they know they are playing much better. I think the whole group are in a better position than they were over the first couple of months.'
Moyes knows a trip to Norfolk will test his side's improving form.
'It has been a little bit of a surprise how well they have done but Paul (Lambert) has done a brilliant job in bringing them up and they have taken some big scalps,' he said. 'Some younger coaches come in with some different styles and are brave with what they do and that is great credit to them. I don't think the managers are doing things a great deal differently, I just think they are coming in with fresh ideas. They are young and hungry and want to be successful and want to have longevity in the game so they know they have to get results and play in a style which will give them that chance. You can see what Swansea have done and Paul Lambert has brought his team up and played three or four styles at different times.'
Moyes believes the ability of both Norwich and Swansea to compete this season is also a testament to how well the pair are run off the pitch.
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'The teams who come up are not automatic favourites to go back down and you've seen that with the likes of Swansea and Norwich this season,' he said. 'They have some momentum from getting promoted and what it says is the teams who come out of the Championship are in a financially better condition than those at the bottom end of the Premier League, which allows them to buy some players in.'
The achievements of Lambert and Brendan Rodgers were recently recognised in a poll of their top flight peers. The long-serving Moyes admits competing with the younger generation remains a challenge he enjoys.
'I have always said if you are in this job you can't put your feet under the table,' he said. 'You have to find new ways of doing it right.'