What The Papers Say - 10 April
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JAMES VAUGHAN has set his sights on Wembley after a successful return to action for Everton.
The 20-year-old striker made his long-awaited comeback from a knee injury with a 68-minute run-out for the reserves in their goalless draw at Sunderland on Wednesday evening.
Vaughan had been sidelined since November after suffering cartilage damage in his right knee during training that ultimately required surgery.
Now the youngster, whose Goodison career has been hampered by a succession of injuries, is determined to make the squad for Everton’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday week.
“It was good to get a run-out,” said Vaughan. “It has been a long time coming but I am pleased to be back out there on the pitch. The knee felt really well and strong, so I am happy with that.
“The aim was to get 60 minutes and I’ve done that. I wanted to stay on a bit longer but the manager has made the right decision in taking me off.”
Vaughan added to evertonTV: “My aim is to come back and help the team push on for Europe and in the FA Cup semi-final.
“Everyone dreams of playing in the FA Cup at Wembley, whether it be semi-final or final.
“That is what I have got my eye on but I have got to be sensible. If the manager thinks I am ready, I will be there.”
Despite his return to fitness, Vaughan is unlikely to be considered for Sunday’s Premier League visit to Aston Villa, with Everton aiming to leapfrog the Midlanders into fifth place.
David Moyes’s side thrashed Wigan Athletic 4-0 at Goodison in their last game to bounce back from the defeat at Portsmouth a fortnight earlier.
And midfielder Steven Pienaar believes Everton can strengthen their claims for a top-five finish with a repeat of that performance.
“Confidence is high in the team and we are looking forward to Sunday’s game,” said the South African. “If we you keep on playing like that, goals will come and we will create opportunities.
“It is not going to be easy playing Villa away. We have to stick to our gameplan, play like we did on Sunday and I don’t think we will have a problem.”
Meanwhile, Everton’s trip to Sunderland on Saturday, May 2 has been altered to a 12.45pm kick-off for live television coverage on Sky.
However, the match will be moved to 4pm the following day if Manchester United progress to the semi-final of the Champions League, which would mean a reshuffle of the televised games for that weekend.
Stuart Attwell is being given another chance to acclimatise to the Barclays Premier League after a torrid first season in the top flight.
The 26-year-old is fourth official for Aston Villa's home game with Everton on Sunday.
Attwell returns to the middle in League One on Friday as the referee for Scunthorpe v Huddersfield.