Cup And Top Four Equal Priorities
Skipper on why cup success and league place are equally important.
Phil Neville insists winning the FA Cup and finishing in the top four are equal priorities for Everton.
The Toffees, currently fifth in the Premier League, are trying to keep pace with the teams above them as they seek to book a place at European football's top table.
But the importance of England's premier cup competition has not been overlooked, with some memorable Wembley dates in recent years offering mixed emotions for Blues fans.
Neville and company travel to Bolton on Saturday for a fourth round tie, with the skipper focussed on going all the way.
"They are both equal to me," he insisted to evertontv. "To win a major trophy like the FA Cup would be massive for the club. In terms of confidence going forward, you need to have something to show for it in terms of a medal or a trophy and the FA Cup is the biggest cup competition in the world.
"If we finish in a Champions League place that would be a dream as well so we are fighting on two fronts at the moment. We want to keep challenging the teams above us - we know it is going to be one hell of a fight."
A dramatic FA Cup run last season captured the imagination of fans but was painfully halted at the semi-final stage, leaving Neville more determined than ever to add to the three winners' medals he has from his Manchester United days.
He added: "We have to maintain our form in the FA Cup because the FA Cup has been a special competition for me personally.
"We had a gut-wrenching defeat to Liverpool last season in the semi-final, we got to the final in 2009 and these days can be really special. When I finish my career, winning the FA Cup will be up there with some of my biggest achievements."
Tickets to Everton's game against West Brom on 30 January (7.45pm) are on sale now. Buy online, call 0871 663 1878* or visit the Box Office/TicketQuarter/Everton Two.