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Neville: Victory over Chelsea has given Everton season new meaning

Everton skipper Phil Neville admits Everton's season has been given a boost by their FA Cup penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea. That has set up a fifth-round tie with Reading, after which they will face Manchester City or Aston Villa, if they win.

With a disappointing league season behind them, Neville admits the cup has been a huge boost.

"A lot was written and said about us before the Chelsea game that it was make or break for our season - and even though we played that down, it probably was make or break.

"It was our last chance of getting success this season. And even though we had a disastrous game against Bolton, confidence was really high we could go out and salvage something.

"We hit rock bottom at Bolton, and after that performance there was only one way and that was up.

"That game was a ¬watershed for us, and it's now time to kick on.

"I think the fans were beginning to lose a little bit of faith and there was a lot of negativity surrounding the club, partly because of the financial reports that came out in the week.

"We can't do anything about that, we could only go out on the field and perform. The manager was so ¬disappointed after Bolton that he had to question our effort levels and our spirit.

"That is something ingrained in this club, and that is what he wanted us to show on Saturday - and that is something we did.

"But there's still a long way to go in the season, and we can still get up that league, still believe we can get to the Europa League qualifying stages."

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Dave Williams

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