Lescott shuns underdog status
Joleon Lescott insists it matters little that many neutrals are hoping Everton can upset Chelsea.
Last Updated: 24/05/09 1:04pm
Joleon Lescott insists it matters little that many neutrals are hoping Everton upset Chelsea and win next week's FA Cup Final.
Last season Portsmouth became the first club from outside the 'big four' to lift the FA Cup since Everton's 1995 success, but Pompey went into the final as favourites as they faced Championship side Cardiff.
Everton take on 2007 winners Chelsea next Saturday and many would relish one of the big boys being humbled in the Wembley showpiece, but defender Lescott is reluctant to accept the goodwill that comes with being underdogs.
Everton's glory days of the 1980s remain fresh for many at the club and Lescott reckons the Toffees will be intent on restoring what many see as their rightful place amongst England's elite rather than to satisfy the nation's appetite for a Cup shock.
"We couldn't care less whether people outside the club want us to win the FA Cup or not," he told the News of the World.
"We just want to do it for ourselves and our own fans. There are plenty of people at this club - staff who've been here a long time - who'll tell you Everton are simply getting back to where we should be.
"If we do win, we'll show a lot of other clubs how to go about trying to win trophies too, but we're not going out there trying to win to set an example for anyone else. What we care about is winning it for Everton."
Under the astute leadership of manager David Moyes, Everton have gradually built a credible challenge to the 'big four' over the last five years.
And Lescott believes the Toffees will be taken even more seriously if they can secure their first silverware in 12 years.
"The main difference for us this time is if we do win, people will start to say 'wow, they really can win a lot of trophies', whereas maybe people think that already about Chelsea," he said.
"To get a trophy and not just any trophy but the biggest outside the league or Champions League, would really take us forward."
The chance to challenge for top honours is the reason Lescott left Wolves for Everton in 2006.
And although helping the Merseysiders become regular qualifiers for Europe while also forcing his way into the England squad, the 26-year-old is determined to now achieve some tangible success.
"To win an FA Cup at this stage of my career would be a great achievement," Lescott added. "I feel young enough to think there will be more.
"But what's essential is if we do win, we don't rest on that and think winning a Cup means we stop doing what we are doing.
"Any player will tell you a career is all about winning medals. You don't look back when you've finished and think about the seasons when you qualified for Europe."