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Lescott Interview

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FOOTBALL'S get-rich quick-fix brigade will take on one of the most enduring symbols of traditional English blue-collar culture at Wembley on Saturday.

It's easy to see why neutrals and romantics may be tempted to fake a Scouse accent and back Everton instead of Chelsea in the FA Cup final.


But try telling Goodison's Joleon Lescott the nation's goodwill favours the Merseysiders, and the shrug of the shoulder might rule him out with a broken collar bone.


There's a fine line between being appreciated and being patronised.


Lescott has no interest in Everton's revival being presented as the story of a plucky outsider done good. He's craving the start of a golden new era to match the club's illustrious history.


"We couldn't care less whether people outside the club want us to win the FA Cup or not," he said. "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."




MAROUANE FELLAINI - talentLescott baulks at the idea the vastly different resources of the Cup finalists makes an Everton win more worthy than success for Guus Hiddink's side. It's a refreshingly honest departure from popular opinion.


The England defender, 26, said: "It doesn't matter how a club gets success, whether it's like Chelsea with their money or Everton having to build gradually.


"There's no right or wrong way to do it. It's the results that matter and even if you have more money it guarantees nothing. We've shown that in our Cup run.


"Manchester United have been the best team in the league and no one has been able to touch them but we still beat them in the semi.


"Liverpool came into the same category in that they were well ahead of us in the league but we performed better in the Cup.


"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. That's the difference at the moment.


"To get a trophy and not just any trophy but the biggest outside of the league or Champions League, would really take us forward. To win an FA Cup at this stage of my career would be a great achievement. I feel young enough to think there will be more.




SHOUT OF ORDER - Joleon Lescott yells his delight as Tim Cahill joins the celebrations"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.


"I'm sure no one will think that way. At minimum, we're capable of reaching the top four of every competition we're involved in.


"We especially need to do better in Europe. We want to progress. We have a good spine to our team but you need to always build on that.


"At the same time, if we don't win, we've still got to make sure we're pushing on to get to more finals and to claim a top-four spot next season. But 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."


Experience will favour Chelsea, although Lescott has at least one pal who knows how to plot a safe path towards a Wembley lap of honour.


He added: "I spoke to Paul Ince after the United semi and he told me to make sure I enjoy the moment. I've had a lot good friends like him, older professionals, who've given me good advice about how to deal with such a big game.


"They all say savour it. But they also say the occasion means nothing unless you win. Obviously, it's great to be there but it's more important to be there and win. When you get that kind of advice, especially from someone like Incey, you take it on board.


"I've not been battered for tickets. I've been giving all my spares to Tony Hibbert to make sure his Scouse mates don't miss out.



"And I'm glad we don't bother with a Cup final record anymore. Some of the boys' haven't really got the rhythm for that kind of thing."


The eyes of the world will be on Wembley and there some Premier League managers who'll be casting an envious glance towards David Moyes' squad too.


Manchester City and Arsenal are courting Lescott but he insists he has unfinished business at Goodison. Lescott added: "It flatters me but I'm focused on my job here and I don't need distractions. I want to be part of Everton's future.


"I'm sure the manager will look to bring in more this summer. He's done well in recent years. This year it was Marouane Fellaini, who's been outstanding. You can see where the club is going.


"Next season we'll have all our injured players back. Phil Jagielka, Mikel Arteta and Yakubu will be like three new signings.


"It's important to keep everyone together because we're really not that far behind the top four."


Come Saturday, in trophy terms at least, that gap might be even smaller

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Brilliant interview, I love his tone throughout, very driven and ambitious. It's encouraging to think we have a batch of players here now all infused with a strong competitive ethic, they want to push on and win, and get us back to the glory days.


man I'm feeling really blue tonight in a good way!



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