Everton boss Moyes happy to avoid Euro pre-qualifiers

Everton boss Dave Moyes admits avoiding European qualifiers this summer is helping his preseason preparations.

Having finished sixth last season in the Premiership and qualified for the UEFA Cup, Moyes' planning for 2006-07 will not be affected in the same way it dominated preparations two years ago.

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"It's not affected pre-season at all. It had affected me two years ago when we had the Champions League qualifying game before the start of the season," he said.

"Our sole goal was to get through that - and then we drew Villarreal, who went on to the semi-finals against Arsenal.

"So the level of the competition was very tough, and the draw we got was very hard on us. But it's not the same this pre-season.

"The UEFA Cup competition doesn't kick in until later on, and our sole focus is to prepare for the Premier League."

Moyes is happy with the way pre-season has gone so far in the United States.

"We're fine. It's been good, and we enjoy coming here. We've been over the last few years and enjoyed it.

"We went to Salt Lake, and it wasn't as good as we would have liked. But that happens, and it's part of the preparations in pre-season.

"We're now in LA and training here, enjoying the facilities and the players are working hard.

"We've changed one or two things this pre-season - but not dramatically - and we're hoping to get another good season under our belts if we can."

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