Everton star Kevin Mirallas has maintained the importance of the FA Cup ahead of their quarter-final tie with Premier League rivals Arsenal, claiming it's a crucial competition for the club.
Despite earning rave reviews under new manager Roberto Martinez and competing for European qualification in the Premier League, FA Cup success would earn them a Europa League spot.
The Toffees currently sit in sixth place and trail Tottenham by five points, though they have a game in hand and are in no way out of the race to secure to European football through domestic success.
But Mirallas has pumped up the Goodison Park outfit ahead of their trip to the Emirates, believing the clash is as big as they come.
“The FA Cup game at Arsenal is the most important game of Everton’s season," he told the Liverpool Echo. “The FA Cup is a great trophy for the team and for the club. It’s crucial for us. Having to wait 19 years is a long time and it makes us really determined.
“I can feel the passion within Everton in trying to win the FA Cup. I’ve spoken to the English players and they’ve told me how important it is.
“The likes of Leighton Baines and Tony Hibbert, players who are from Liverpool who are supporters of this club have made sure of that.”
Everton's last success in the FA Cup was all the way back in 1995 when they defeated Manchester United but as the competition has shown in recent years, history can be created out of nothing.
Mirallas, who signed for Everton in 2012 from Greek outfit Olympiacos, was a member of the team that lost to cup holders Wigan last year, and the Belgian international is determined to make amends.
“Last season when we were drawn at home to Wigan at this stage of the season, people were saying it was going to be easy because they were near the bottom of the Premier League, so maybe it’s better that we’re playing Arsenal. We will be really motivated to play against them," he added.
“Wigan came here and played very well. For me it was the biggest low point since I came to Everton. It was my first season at the club and it was really important for me to try and win a trophy. Maybe we can change that this season.”
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