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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Kendall Backing Blues

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Legendary Everton manager Howard Kendall is tipping the Blues to not only prove themselves the pride of Merseyside on Saturday but to go on and lift a first FA Cup trophy in 17 years.

Under Kendall's stewardship, Wembley meetings with Liverpool became almost routine in the 1980s.

Now, 23 years after his successor Colin Harvey last oversaw a derby at the national stadium, the two sides of the city are set to do battle in the capital once more.

Kendall, whose side suffered a 3-1 defeat to the Reds in the FA Cup final of 1986, believes the time is right for Everton to gain some long overdue revenge and some silverware for the Goodison Park trophy cabinet.

"The occasion is special, going to Wembley is special but the result is the most important thing," Kendall told evertonfc.com ahead of the weekend's hotly-anticipated semi-final. "I don't think it's just about Everton beating Liverpool, I think it's winning something. You can be one step nearer if you win and I think that is what David Moyes will be focusing on - to actually win a trophy in his time as Everton manager.

"I honestly believe they can do that this season. They're playing with a belief, they're very difficult to break down, they have an excellent squad of players and I think it will be very difficult to beat them.

Howard Kendall leads Everton out at Wembley for ahead of the 1984 League Cup final against Liverpool

"I'd be delighted for David because I think after 10 years of work he deserves it. He's stuck with it, the chairman's stood by him and it would be tremendous and a great feeling for David to win something with this Club."

Everton go into the match-up in a rich vein of form and having notched 12 goals in their last five games.

Liverpool, conversely, recorded a first win in five at Blackburn on Tuesday and Kendall fancies a restored belief will see the Blues through.

"I think they just need to carry on playing as they are playing now," he continued. "They're organised, a 100 per cent commitment is there for everyone to see and it looks as if they've maybe found a little bit of a goalscorer in Nikica Jelavic, which was a perhaps a problem earlier on in the season.

"I have every confidence in them in the semi-final. The way Everton are performing at the present time, I think they've got every chance of going through.

"I was pleased with the way the draw came out," he added. "The city will empty out and everyone will want to be there, for sure. I just hope the same spirit is there as there was in the '80s.

"There were blue and red and white scarves hanging out of car and bus windows all the way down and it was just a tremendous atmosphere. I hope it will be the same again."

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