Everton must win trophy 'to get remembered' says Leighton Baines
The Toffees take on Wigan in the FA Cup this weekend
Friday 08 March 2013
Everton defender Leighton Baines believes the current crop of players will not be remembered as a success story unless they win a trophy.
The current Toffees squad is packed full of internationals and while the England left-back thinks they would give the 1995 FA Cup-winning team - who brought home the club's last piece silverware - a good game they cannot be considered their equals yet.
Despite their good form in the league this season, which has given David Moyes' side an outside chance of Champions League qualification, Baines insists medals not league places are what really matters.
"I still remember going to the 1995 cup final and I'd fancy our chances against that team, no disrespect to them," he said.
"They had a good team then and we've got a good team now but they will be remembered because of what they achieved and that surpasses anything.
"If anyone wants to stake a claim to being better than them well then prove it because they went there and did it and unless we do that we can't talk about being better than them.
"If you don't achieve anything then you are not going to get remembered."
Everton face Wigan tomorrow in their third FA Cup quarter-final appearance in five years, having reached the final in 2009 and the last four 12 months ago.
Losing to Merseyside rivals Liverpool at Wembley last April was a painful experience but Baines said it provided added motivation.
"It is hard to explain because losing a semi-final is a blow and to lose to your biggest rivals made it worse," he added.
"It took a while to get past it and we were probably licking our wounds for a little bit but we are stronger for it and we don't want that feeling again.
"You draw on those experiences and emotions and use them as motivation.
"I think you should look back on those occasions because it brings back the hunger to get there again.
"You have to have it in the back of your mind at this stage to spur you on."
Baines faces his former club having scored three times - all penalties - in his last eight outings against them and is looking forward to the occasion at Goodison Park.
"Wigan is always going to be special for me," he said.
"Not only did they give me my chance but we had success in that period because we were in League One when I came through and to rise and end up in the Premier League is something I'll always look back on fondly."
While Baines is still waiting for his silverware at Everton since leaving Wigan in 2007, manager David Moyes marks his 11th anniversary at the club next week having not yet managed to break his trophy duck.
"It is the one thing that is missing for him and the club," said Baines.
"The manager has been at the club for a lengthy spell and silverware would cap what has been a good spell for him.
"For the club it has also been too long."
Moyes also believes his side's recent near-misses in the cup have allowed them to become more effective in knockout competition.
"I wouldn't say we are getting a better cup team but I think we are getting a team who are maybe finding a goal to win the games," he said.
"I couldn't turn around and say any of my cup performances have made me go 'wow, that was a great performance' but in a cup competition the most important thing is you get through.
"I think over recent years we have started to get a little bit closer to the final numbers in this competition and we will try to do so again this weekend.
"To get close to these things you have to be in a position to win the games and we have a chance with a home tie, which we have to make the most of."
Moyes next week celebrates his 11th year in charge at the club but the closest he has come so far to winning a trophy was that 2009 FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea.
"I think to win the FA Cup is something I'd love to do with the players because we've been at it a long time," added the Scot.
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