TIM HOWARD believes the FA Cup can provide the timely lift to momentum which Everton need.
The USA international believes that victory at Boundary Park on Saturday could in turn spur on the Blues’ flagging Premier League form, which took another blow after a 2-0 defeat by his former club Manchester United on Sunday.
And Howard insists that Everton will be desperate to recapture the momentum of previous seasons when a good run in the FA Cup has coincided with an impressive finish in the league.
He said: “That’s got to be our strength. Continuing to get through in the Cup, as we know over the last few years when we’ve had good cup runs, can make us feel good.
“Even on the back of a loss; if we go to Oldham, get a result and go through in the Cup it makes us feel better going into the next league match against Norwich.
“They kind of play off each other, and that’s why the most important thing on our radar is the Oldham game.”
Howard lamented how Everton weren’t allowed to play their best football on Sunday by a team that are proving virtually unstoppable on home soil this season.
Manchester United had won all but one of their 12 previous home Premier League fixtures and the Blues became the latest club to come away from Old Trafford empty-handed.
And Howard, who made his 250th Premier League appearance in Everton colours, said the result needs to be put in perspective.
“You know that when you come away from home to Manchester United that you are always going to have a long afternoon and you hope that it goes your way. Today it didn’t,” he said. “A gentleman said to me how difficult it was for Everton to come here and get a result, and I reminded him how difficult it was for any Premier League team.
“It’s a tough place to play – they have got fantastic players and they make it very difficult.
“The one thing that stood out for me was that they pressed us all over the pitch. They pressed us high up with three (players) and never let us get started.
“When we got it into our big players, the guys who make us go, they made it difficult. Across the board, they did a really good job at closing down.”
Howard also believes Everton encountered a team that were keen to avenge the 1-0 defeat they had suffered at Goodison Park on the opening weekend of the season.
“They don’t like to lose either,” explained the American international. “They came to our place and took a loss, and I’m sure that was at the back of their minds.”