FA Cup: Everton need silverware to be success story, says Leighton Baines


Click to follow
The Independent Football

Leighton Baines was present when Everton last won a trophy, 18 years ago, and the defender has said the current crop of players will not be remembered as a success story unless they win another.

The current Everton squad is packed full of internationals and while the England left-back thinks they would give the 1995 FA Cup-winning team a good game they cannot be considered their equals until they match their achievement.

Despite their good form in the league this season, which has given David Moyes' side an outside chance of Champions League qualification, Baines insisted 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, prove it then 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 today in their third FA Cup quarter-final appearance in five years, having reached the final in 2009 and the last four 12 months ago. However, Dave Whelan, the Wigan chairman, has special motivation of his own when it comes to the FA Cup. He was part of the Blackburn side that lost 3-0 to Wolves in the 1960 final and he would love his players to enjoy a happier occasion at Wembley.

Whelan broke his leg in the final and only found out about the defeat after leaving hospital – news which reduced him to tears.

He said: "I really fancied we would bring that Cup away from Wembley and I didn't finish the match.

"I got my Cup final medal – a loser's one. So I do feel a great sense of unfinished business.

"To be in a Cup final is something really, really special. It is a dream, and I have still got the dream to get the business finished, pick up the FA Cup and bring it back to Wigan.

"If – and it is a big if – I could get the chance to lead Wigan to Wembley, for me, it would be something absolutely unbelievable."