Pressure is on Sunderland in FA Cup replay claims Everton manager David Moyes

 

Everton manager David Moyes believes the pressure is all on Sunderland ahead of tomorrow night's FA Cup quarter-final replay.

The Black Cats produced a good performance to take the tie back to the Stadium of Light and Moyes said Martin O'Neill's side were now the favourites.

"I think the pressure does go back on them. I felt it a little bit when we played at home," said the Scot.

"We tried to do the job and win here but it was a good result for Sunderland to get us back to the Stadium of Light.

"They will see a good part of the job has been done and they have probably got themselves in the favourites position because they have been very good at home under Martin, so we know it will be a tough game."

Tantalisingly for Everton, a semi-final against near-neighbours Liverpool awaits the winners but Moyes is keen for the focus to be on the job in hand.

The Toffees have not been to Wembley since they lost the 2009 final to Chelsea, which was the closest the club have come to ending their 17-year trophy drought.

"It would be great. It is something I would really look forward to," said Moyes when asked for his thoughts on returning to the national stadium.

"I really enjoyed the last time - except for the result - but it would be terrific if we could go and do it again.

"But I am not thinking or talking that way because I would rather try to play in this game and then see where we go from there.

"It is too soon to ask me a question about getting back to Wembley at the moment."

Moyes' greater concern is fatigue for his players with the cup tie their fifth match in 17 days.

Part of the congestion was caused by the re-scheduling of the Merseyside derby after Liverpool won the Carling Cup, but the Everton boss does not believe the Premier League have helped their cause.

"It will affect the squad but you have to take the games as they come," he said of their recent run of fixtures.

"You have to get on with it but, as I've said a couple of times, I don't think it has been particularly fair on us.

"The Premier League have been hard on Everton this year, that is for sure."

When asked to expand on why he felt that, Moyes replied: "None of your business."

The cup tie has to be finished tomorrow night so there is the prospect of extra time and penalties if the two teams cannot be separated.

That may work against Everton, considering their schedule, but it is an eventuality Moyes will deal with if and when he has to.

"Even if you are thinking of going to extra time it is difficult to plan because you never knows what happens in 90 minutes and how hard you have to work to stay in the game or how hard you have to work to take it to extra time," he said.

"You can only take it as it comes and be ready and hope the players are fit and strong enough to get through that time because it has been a tough period for the players.

"And there is a lot of football to be played before it gets to penalties."

Moyes does, at least, expect his team to go into the game full of confidence after registering their first win in four matches at Swansea.

"We played well in the game and got three important points in the Premier League but I don't know if it has any real bearing towards the next game," he said.

"Both clubs (Swansea and Sunderland) are in similar positions in the league so there is not a massive difference - the only difference is it is an FA Cup tie and the winner goes through."

PA

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