Everton manager David Moyes admits his failure to sign a frontline striker last summer has impacted on their season.
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The Scot brought in Jermaine Beckford on a free transfer after he had helped Leeds earn promotion from League One but wanted someone with more experience to help ease the burden.
But he was not able to bring anyone else in and Everton have suffered as a result, with Tim Cahill having to be deployed as a centre-forward on occasions.
When Ayegbeni Yakubu and James Vaughan were loaned to Leicester and Crystal Palace respectively in January it increased the pressure on Louis Saha and Beckford.
The former, whose poor form prior to January saw him net just once in five months – in a Carling Cup victory over Huddersfield – has responded with nine goals since the turn of the year but injuries continue to be a problem for the Frenchman.
"I knew we were short of a centre-forward and maybe more than one," Moyes told talkSPORT.
"I got Jermaine Beckford, who had jumped two divisions, and I was saying ‘Let’s not put too much pressure on him, get him off the bench, play some games at the right moment and that’s the ideal way to introduce him’.
"But we didn’t get the centre-forward which we needed to go with the rest of the team.
"Our play was very good, we continued in the form with our football, but we didn’t have the goalscorers to finish it off at the start of the year and that definitely had an effect on us."