Everton's Sylvain Distin taking the positives into Cup tie

Friday 07 Mar 2014
Distin has been a regular for Everton this season

Sylvain Distin is taking nothing but positive thoughts into Saturday’s FA Cup Sixth Round Proper tie with Arsenal.

The Everton defender has a mixed bag of memories from The FA Cup over the years, experiencing the highs of victory with Portsmouth in 2008 before suffering the lows of a Semi-Final defeat at Wembley with Everton against arch-rivals Liverpool in 2012.

 

Arsenal v Everton

The FA Cup with Budweiser
Sixth Round Proper
12.45pm, Saturday 8 March
Emirates Stadium
Winners receive £360,000
Live on ITV

 

 

And the Frenchman is clearly tired of being reminded that it was his back-pass in that game which led to Luis Suarez’s equaliser for Liverpool.

"If every time you make a mistake and you were thinking about it all the time, you would have to stop playing football - what is most important is how you react from the mistake," Distin told TheFA.com, ahead of their trip south to the Emirates Stadium.

"For every footballer, that’s the kind of thing that you want to keep in your mind, the positive things.

"So winning The FA Cup with Portsmouth, that’s the sort of thing you keep in your mind when you walk on the pitch.

Everton

Distin apologises to the Everton fans in 2012

 

"There is not a footballer in the world who hasn’t made a mistake. If the best in the world make mistakes, then a player like me is definitely going to make some too."

Roberto Martinez’s side have been in impressive form this season, enjoying a good campaign in the Premier League alongside their run in The Cup.

Saturday’s tie promises to be a real test though, with Arsenal also chasing honours in the league and Cup.

And the 36-year-old is expecting a close game with Arsene Wenger’s side, given the recent fortunes of both teams.

"It’s going to be a tough game because they are a very good side, with the style of football that they play," added the former Manchester City and Newcastle United star.

"This season, we have been very good ourselves, so I think it will be a very balanced game.

"Every single year, when you start in The Cup, you want to win it so this one is no different from any other game – you always want to win.

"The Finals are always close, but the best teams are always left in the competition so it’s always going to be a tight game.

Sylvain Distin and Sol Campbell celebrate Portsmouth

Distin celebrates FA Cup victory with Portsmouth in 2008

 

"It’s a good game and a big game and the closer you get to The Final, the more important the game is.

"So for both Arsenal and for us, it is a big game."

Everton will be backed in numbers at the Emirates on Saturday, with all involved hoping it won’t be their last visit to north London this season, as there is the prospect of a Semi-Final at Wembley to follow for Saturday’s winners.

And Distin says the players are hoping to put in a performance for both themselves and the supporters.

"It’s always important, but we have to perform well for us firstly and if we can do that, then the fans will be happy," he explained.

"It’s a cliché to say you play for the fans, I think every single player is always playing for himself and when you do well, the fans are happy too.

"It’s an extra motivation to know that we have that expectation on our shoulders, to play for the fans as well - so it’s for both of us, the fans and the players."

By Nicholas Veevers