Saha crucial for Everton
David Moyes believes that Louis Saha is crucial to Everton's bid for FA Cup glory.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 09/03/09 10:18am
Everton manager David Moyes believes that striker Louis Saha is crucial to the club's bid for FA Cup glory.
The 30-year-old headed the winner as the Toffees secured their place in the semi-final of the famous competition with a 2-1 home win over Middlesbrough on Sunday.
The Frenchman came off the bench as a half-time substitute with the hosts 1-0 down after a lacklustre first-half performance.
But just 11 minutes after Saha's introduction, Everton had turned the game around to earn a semi-final date with Manchester United in April.
The goal was the former Fulham frontman's second in three games after returning from nearly three months out with a hamstring injury.
Moyes appears to be wrapping the striker in cotton wool - the France international has appeared from the bench in all four of the games since his comeback - and the Scot insists Saha can play a vital part in the season run-in.
"I did not expect Louis to last that long," he said.
"I felt he was only ready for about 30 minutes, but he played the whole second half and was excellent.
"He is the only forward we have at the club who can provide that sort of goal threat. We will take it carefully, it will be up to Louis when he feels he can last a full match.
"But when we can use him from the start in matches it will boost our chances on both fronts, the cup and the league."
Saha himself is relishing the prospect of facing his old club in the last four with Hull City or Arsenal facing Chelsea in the other semi-final tie.
Saha spent over four years at Old Trafford before joining Everton in the summer and he is confident the Toffees can pull off an upset.
"It is a difficult one," he told Everton TV. "But it is a special thing to go to Wembley. I think it is going to be a really tough game but we have been great all season so far.
"We have shown great commitment in the FA Cup so obviously we have to show that to keep winning the next two games.
"You have to beat the big teams at some point and this will be a big test for us because they are the best team around."