EVERTON can only have themselves to blame if they are left bemoaning what might have been come quarter to three on Saturday afternoon.
There can’t be any bigger incentive than the chance of going back to Wembley. And I’m sure David Moyes and his players are champing at the bit.
I know some Evertonians who have already booked their trip to London next month.
Not because they are over-confident, but because they are so determined to make up for last season’s semi-final defeat to Liverpool that they want to make sure they are there for a possible Wembley clash.
If Everton can see off Wigan – and they should – and then earn a favourable draw in the semi-finals, they would only be two wins from a return to Europe and a crack at ending their lengthy trophy drought.
But like all their previous Cup draws this season, it’s a real banana skin match. The pressure will be on Everton to produce as favourites.
Moyes’s men have very few off days, and even when they don’t play well they have shown they can scratch a win and, of course, we know they can easily draw games.
Moyes will have spent much of the week nailing his players’ heads to the floor. It’s a big game, and Everton have to forget it’s Wigan and treat it as though they are playing Manchester United.
Liverpool may have softened up Wigan at the weekend, but the Latics are probably the most unpredictable team in the Premier League.