Jags: 'I Think I'm Owed A Final'
Defender desperate to make up for '09 disappointment.
If one Everton player has the right to feel he deserves a shot at an FA Cup final, it's Phil Jagielka.
In 2009, the defender went from semi-final matchwinner to cup final injury victim, a serious knee injury cruelly depriving the Player of the Season-in-waiting of the chance to take on Chelsea for the trophy.
It was the England man's coolly-struck penalty which set up the final-day meeting with Guus Hiddink's Londoners, but it proved to one his final acts of the campaign.
Fast-forward three years and the 29-year-old is hopeful of making a significant mark in the semis once again - even if patience may have to be a factor.
Jagielka has been sharing playing time in David Moyes' defence since sustaining another knee knock in January and understands Sylvain Distin and John Heitinga may be given the nod against Liverpool on Saturday.
"The memories that I have of playing in the semi-finals last time are up there with the best of my career," he said, reflecting on the spot kick which dispatched of heavy favourites Manchester United. "So it's nice to go back and it would be nice to play as big a part as I did last time. But I understand at the moment the boys have been doing really well, so I might have to bide my time and see how it goes.
"If my role at the moment is to give Johnny and Sylvain a rest for a game, it's not ideal for me, but we're all part of a squad which wants to do well and we all want to win a trophy. So whatever the manager sees fit, as long as the end result is what we want, we'll all be giving each other high fives and it will be irrelevant.
"I feel a little bit like I'm owed a final," he continued. "I've played in four semi-finals and I got through one but wasn't able to play in the final. I'm still lucky enough to have played those big occasions and they're fantastic enough on their own. But it would be nice to get through to a final and play in one. It would be even nicer obviously to win one."
Having experience the euphoria of toppling Sir Alex Ferguson's side in 2009, Jagielka knows what taking down Liverpool would mean this time around.
And should penalties be required - and should he be called upon - he'll be ready to shoulder the biggest responsibility once again.
"A semi-final is always massive but to play Liverpool is huge," he said. "We knew when the draw came out it was a huge incentive to go up to Sunderland and beat them and thankfully the lads played well and set up the tie of the round.
"Shootouts are hard. I'm not normally one who particularly likes to take one but the majority of the time your centre backs don't get changed so 120 minutes in you know you're likely to be one of the players left. I won't be jumping up and down saying pick me, pick me but if asked, as one of the elder statesmen, I'll have to step forward and try to score again."