David Moyes has paid tribute to his Everton players as he prepares for his final game in charge before moving to Manchester United.
The 50-year-old has been at Goodison Park for over a decade and goes into his final game against Chelsea knowing his side will finish sixth in the Premier League.
During his tenure, Moyes has taken Everton from perennially being threatened by relegation to consistent top-10 finishes, with the prospect of European qualification always a possibility.
Although a trophy has eluded him, and he has never tasted victory at Anfield, Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge or the Emirates Stadium, Moyes said he was proud of the work he had done.
“The memories I’ve got from Everton are going to live with me for a long time,” he said. “The character of the players here is great. All the players in my time here have been great.
“I often think how lucky I am to not only have great players but great men. For that, I thank them all.
“I brought all the players in the current group to Everton, barring Ossie (Leon Osman) and Hibbo (Tony Hibbert).
“I take full responsibility for the players we have here and I’ve always wanted to give the players everything we can and tell them that we will be challenging at the top of the league.
“I always tell them we will keep getting better, and I believe we have.”
The Scot may be leaving, but he is confident Everton can continue to grow from strength to strength without him, praising the work done behind the scenes and on the training pitch at the club.
“The group of players we have got are great,” he added. “The way they work means they police themselves.”
“On the training ground every day, they are the ones who demand it of each other and after my time, they won’t allow it to change because there are too many players with the same approach. They know the standards we’ve set and what is required.
“Behind the scenes, we have former players in Alan Stubbs, David Weir and Duncan Ferguson back on the staff. And there will be more from the group there now because they are great lads.”