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We embrace the challenge

15 February 2013

Philliskirk on tackling Everton


Tony Philliskirk is happy for Latics to be unfancied in tomorrow’s FA Cup with Budweiser, fifth-round tie against Everton at Boundary Park.

But Latics’ manager says after defeating Premier League giants Liverpool in the last round it would be wrong to write off their chances.

Philliskirk, who believes this will be Latics’ toughest game of their memorable cup run, explained: "We know we are massive underdogs for the game, but we embrace the challenge as we did against Liverpool.

"You never know what happens on the day and that is the magic of the FA Cup which is historical. Already this season there have been a number of results, including our one against Liverpool, which have raised eye brows.

"I am under no illusions that we will have to be at our very best and Everton will have to be below par. We will also need a lot of luck and our defence and goalkeeper will probably have to play out of their skins for things to go our way if we are to have another Nottingham Forest and Liverpool.

"The FA Cup is magical and you never know what is going to happen, but we will be going into the game with a positive mindset. Hopefully things will click and we can spring another surprise.”

Philliskirk describes Everton as an outstanding team and David Moyes one of the top British managers and he is looking forward to going head-to-head with him in the technical area.

He said: "David has made it clear that he sees the FA Cup as a great opportunity for Everton to win something so I expect him to field a very strong side.

"I watched Everton against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday and in the first half they were excellent.

"We have tried to identify one of two areas which may be we can exploit. We have certainly worked of defensive aspects of our game."

Philliskirk’s message to the players is to go out and savour the occasion as rarely do clubs from the third tier of English football reach the last 16 of the FA Cup.

"It is a game we are looking forward to because if you can’t enjoy games like this, you won’t enjoy football at all," he continued.

Philliskirk also spoke about the importance of the cup run to the football club in terms of finance as it has helped massively as well as raising the profile of the club. He added that it has also been uplifting for the town.

While Latics can savour tomorrow’s game, Philliskirk says the main priority is staving off the threat of relegation from npower League One and that job continues in earnest at Stevenage on Tuesday night.

Philliskirk is hoping the team can build of last Saturday’s excellent win against Milton Keynes Dons and that instils confidence and belief into the team.

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