DAVID MOYES and his players admit Everton FC are being driven down the road to Wembley by the pain of last season’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Liverpool.
The Goodison outfit moved a step nearer a return to the national stadium by defeating npower League One side Oldham Athletic 3-1 in their fifth round replay on Tuesday night.
Everton must now overcome Premier League rivals Wigan Athletic at home on Saturday week to reach the last four in the competition for the second successive season.
And Moyes has revealed the disappointment of their 2-1 loss to neighbours Liverpool in their Wembley semi-final last April continues to linger.
“I still have the disappointment of the FA Cup semi-final last year against Liverpool and nothing would give me more pleasure than to get Everton back to Wembley to try and reach another final,” said the Goodison manager.
“I know the players are very much of the same feeling and although FA Cup ties are never easy, we will be striving to put right the disappointment from last year.
“Expectations here at Everton have risen year on year and this is the job of any manager – to give the supporters the belief that they can do something more than expected.
“We’ve been in FA Cup semi-finals and not too long ago a final. I understand that still has to be improved on and let’s hope it is this year.”
Everton had led at half-time against Liverpool but produced a meek second-half performance to ultimately lose 2-1 thanks to Andy Carroll’s late header.
And skipper Phil Neville, who returned to the starting line-up against Oldham, believes the ghosts of that defeat will only be exorcised by securing a return to Wembley next week.
“We have the incentive of still feeling the pain of last season’s FA Cup semi-final defeat,” said Neville.
“That hit everyone connected with this football club exceptionally hard and I don’t think the wounds will heal completely until we are back at Wembley and challenging again for a place in the final.”