NIKICA JELAVIC could rediscover his ruthless streak in front of goal if he returns to the Everton starting line-up in the FA Cup against Oldham.
The Croatian striker has been benched for Everton’s last three Premier League games, after failing to hit the back of the net since Everton’s FA Cup third round win over Cheltenham on January 7.
Jelavic started his last game for the Blues in the previous round of the Cup at Bolton Wanderers, when Everton ensured progress into the fifth round with a late 2-1 win, and former Toffees title-winner Peter Reid believes the trip to Boundary Park on Saturday could be the perfect time for the striker to recapture his form.
“Without picking the manager’s team for him, that Oldham game could be an opportunity to get him the confidence back,” said former Manchester City boss Reid.
“I remember the chance he missed against Southampton last month. Last year that would have been in the back of the net and he just seems to need his confidence lifting. He looked quite sharp when he came on against United, and got his goal last week for Croatia.
“There’s no doubt that Everton have missed Jelavic’s goals. He was fantastic last season but he looks like he’s lacking a bit of confidence.”
Reid believes Everton’s players should use the cup tie against the League One strugglers as a springboard to get their momentum going again.
He said: “It’s a great opportunity. If you’re one of the Everton players and David Moyes says to you, ‘Do you want to play?’, you would say ‘yes’ because you want to get through to the last eight, get a home draw if you’re lucky and see where you go from there.
“That can drive you on and give you that momentum back. I would be surprised if every one of those players doesn’t want to play.”