SIMON DAVEY has form for provoking a chuckle or two among Evertonians.
Davey was the manager of Barnsley back in 2008 when they stunned Liverpool with a last-minute victory at Anfield in the FA Cup fifth round.
And the Welshman was at it again on Sunday to put the smiles back on Everton faces and open up an inviting route back to Wembley.
The grumbles among the Goodison faithful at the weekend’s last-gasp surrender against Oldham Athletic were still continuing until roughly 6pm on Sunday evening when Graham Taylor pulled out their team’s name first.
Then came Davey’s contribution as Wigan Athletic were the next to come out of the hat (well, Perspex boxy-tube thing, but you get the idea).
Suddenly, there it was. Beat the Latics at home – both Oldham and Wigan, that is – and Everton were back at Wembley for a second successive FA Cup semi-final.
The realists among the fanbase would quickly have pointed that most likely Manchester City and one of Manchester United or Chelsea will then lie in wait.
But the optimist was already envisaging a clash against Millwall or Blackburn Rovers and the possibility of another FA Cup final and the chance to end a trophy drought that stretches back to 1995.
As well as encouraging supporters, the draw must surely have also reinvigorated an Everton squad that has shown signs of tiredness in recent weeks – and has been effectively told their achievements between now and the end of the season could decide whether David Moyes signs a new contract.