Phil Jagielka is desperate to be part of the side that plays in the FA Cup final, providing Everton dispatch Liverpool at the weekend.
The Merseyside rivals face off against one another under the Wembley arch on Saturday lunchtime, and having missed out on the 2009 FA Cup final due to a knee ligament injury Jagielka believes he is owed an opportunity to play for the Toffees should they reach Wembley again, despite knowing that John Heitinga and Sylvain Distin will probably get the nod ahead of him.
“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. 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.”