O’Neill doing brilliant job – Moyes

The two men go head to head on Wednesday night with both clubs in

with a chance of European football next season. O’Neill saw his

side crash out of the FA Cup at the weekend when they lost to

Chelsea in the semi-final. Villa also suffered heartache in the

Carling Cup final, losing to Manchester United. The Northern

Irishman has not given any guarantees about his future but Moyes

feels his managerial counterpart deserves nothing but praise for

the way he goes about his business. He said: “Martin O’Neill is

really important to Aston Villa. It is not his position that is in

jeopardy, that’s for sure. “To get his team to a cup final, another

semi-final and to be challenging for fourth, he has done a

brilliant job. “He has a really good team, who will always score

goals because of the way they play. He speaks the truth. He says

what he feels. “I think if you asked most clubs in the country

would they like Martin as manager, they would say yes.” Since the

turn of the year Everton have been one of the form sides, picking

up 28 points from a possible 42. That string of good results has

seen them move to eighth place in the Barclays Premier League table

– four points behind Villa, who also have a match in hand. Asked if

tonight’s match is a must-win, Moyes said: “It probably is. We have

to win our games if we are going to make Europe. “We have always

been coming from behind. We had a poor start. The hard part was

having three or four serious injuries, and we’ve been playing

catch-up. We have done a pretty good job. “We still have a chance

of a European spot but we need to overhaul Aston Villa. It is

important and we would like to be there. “We will do everything we

can. We might need other people to help us out but if we don’t do

our job, it does not matter. “The players are making a decent fist

of it and have done well to get us into this position.” Influential

midfielder Mikel Arteta will sit out the match as he has failed to

recover from the groin strain that caused him to miss the draw with

West Ham in their last outing. Victor Anichebe remains absent with

a hip injury but Joseph Yobo returns to the squad following a back

problem.