Everton captain Phil Neville praises David Moyes after win

Phil Neville

Everton captain Phil Neville believes new signings and an early return to pre-season training helped his side make a winning start to the season.

The Toffees began their summer preparations on 5 July and have already recruited Steven Naismith, Steven Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas.

"The manager has bought early so we can concentrate on just playing well and that's what we did," said Neville after Monday's win over Manchester United.

"We've got a really settled side."

Everton reported back four days before most other clubs and headed straight to Austria for a warm-weather training camp.

They played six friendlies and added Naismith, Pienaar and Mirallas to a squad that lost Tim Cahill, Joseph Yobo and Jack Rodwell.

Belgium forward Mirallas completed his move from Olympiakos on Sunday but did not feature in the United match.

Neville feels boss David Moyes was keen to disperse the notion that Everton are traditionally slow starters.

"I think the most important thing he has done is bring in three players and recruiting early means we have settled well," said the midfielder.

"Normally we don't start coming on to the scene until October or November and that's because the players we sign up right up to the deadline don't settle right away.

"But we've signed Naismith, Pienaar - who already knows all about Everton - and now we've signed a lad from Belgium.

Neville added of Moyes: "He brought us back earlier than any other team in the Premier League, which surprised us all a little bit.

"He worked us hard for two or three weeks and then gave us five days off. From then it's just been games and it's been really relaxed."

Meanwhile, centre-back Sylvain Distin has played down fears that he suffered a serious injury in the victory over United.

The Frenchman needed to be helped from the pitch after full time, but wrote on Twitter: "Just landed badly on my back so I'm a bit bruised but it was worth it."

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