David Moyes has stressed that Everton must approach Oldham Athletic with the same professional attitude as shown towards Cheltenham Town and Bolton Wanderers if they are to reach this season’s FA Cup quarter-finals.
For the third round in succession, the Blues have been handed a tricky-looking away draw against lower league opposition, especially after the Latics defeated Liverpool to set up Saturday evening's date at Boundary Park.
Everton themselves comfortably brushed aside Cheltenham at Whaddon Road at the start of January, while a last-gasp John Heitinga goal helped fend off Bolton at the Reebok Stadium three weeks ago.
However, two seasons back, the Blues exited the FA Cup at the fifth round stage, losing 1-0 at home to then Championship outfit Reading.
Moyes is also mindful of other unexpected defeats during his tenure at Goodison, explaining that a below-par performance will result in elimination from the competition, no matter who the opposition are.
“I think I prepared very well when we went to play against Shrewsbury and I think I prepared very well when we played Oldham in the cup here,” said Moyes. “We didn’t get the result, but that’s football.
“You can do all the things, but you have to play well and you have to try and take your opportunities when they come along.
“The game against Cheltenham was difficult and one you could say was a banana skin. Bolton as well was a tough tie because you are going away to a team who had come out of the Premier League and it took a last minute goal to get us through. But that is what happens in the cup – you have to take what you get.
“We are going to have to play very well against Oldham and we are going to have to be resilient and compete against a side from a lower league. Hopefully our superior ability and players will show through in the end.”
Moyes, who took his team to Manchester United last Sunday, is also confident Everton will be able to adapt to conditions at Boundary Park, where a sell-out crowd is expected.
“It shouldn’t be too difficult because they are professional players,” he added. “Most of them will have played at grounds similar to this in the early part of their career, so they should never forget where they came from and how they started out in football.
“There are a lot of players playing at Boundary Park who would like to be playing at Old Trafford, as we did last week, so our players should think themselves privileged that they are. You have to go to Boundary Park and deal with it [the atmosphere] like they would for any other game."
Tony Philliskirk will lead Oldham on Saturday after Paul Dickov left his position as manager at Boundary Park – just a week after masterminding the 3-2 win over Liverpool.
The former Sheffield United, Burnley and Cardiff striker has been with the Latics for the past 15 years, working mainly within the club’s academy during that time.
“I have known Tony for a while through our playing careers. He’s a good lad,” Moyes said of his opposite number on Saturday evening.
“He is in the main working with the kids, but now he’s managing the first team with Paul Gerrard. I watched their team play against Milton Keynes Dons last week and they played very well.
“They have brought in three or four loan players who can play, so that’s different from that game [against Liverpool]. I don’t know if there will be a great deal of changes but we can only go on what we have seen.
“They got a great result against Liverpool, really unexpected I suppose for most people. But that’s what the cup does at times.”