Steven Pienaar targets FA Cup goal - Everton FC latest
STEVEN PIENAAR'S only goal of the season so far has been taken from him.
But the Blues' midfielder has targeted progress in the FA Cup as the best way of bouncing back from that disappointment.
The FA's dubious goals panel has ruled that Pienaar's matchwinner at Tottenham on November 30 was a Vedran Corluka own goal.
There was better news for Louis Saha, whose first strike at West Ham three weeks earlier which also took a slight deflection off Lucas Neill, has been cred- ited to the striker.
But Pienaar is focusing on Saturday's FA Cup trip to Macclesfield.
"I'm looking forward to the FA Cup," he said. "I think the cup games offer the shortest route to Europe, so we can take it from the first game and try to go as far as possible."
The Blues are still well placed for UEFA Cup qualification via their league placing once again, and Pienaar added: "I think if you look at how the season started, I think we must be delighted that we are still up there in the mix."
But the draw against League Two Macclesfield has given Everton an excellent opportunity of making progress in the FA Cup.
Pienaar has prior experience of the competition. He was in the Blues side beaten 1-0 by Oldham last season before jetting off for South Africa's disappointing African Nations Cup campaign.
But this season he feels better prepared.
"Last year was a bit crazy," he added. "Now I think I'm more aware of what is involved and I know what to do.
"Normally I'm off with my family in South Africa just having a few days off over Christmas but here you just have to play. That's part of the game in England and something you enjoy as a player."
The Blues are hoping that their extensive injury list may finally ease ahead of their first ever competitive trip to Moss Rose.
Assistant boss Steve Round revealed on Sunday that Louis Saha was "nearly fit" while Victor Anichebe came off the bench against Sunderland for the final 15 minutes.