Royle hoping Everton can finally end long wait for silverware
“We had chances to score a second or a third before we came under pressure late on,” he says. It also ended his torment in the FA Cup against Ferguson.
Royle recalls: “It didn’t mean more because it was United. Alex is a good friend of mine. We met up in the first week he came down from Aberdeen and have got on well since. He was always gracious about Oldham. After Everton stayed up [with a win at Ipswich in the penultimate game] we switched off completely.
“We were in easy mode before the final. We played head tennis the day before and those who wanted to play golf played golf. About 30 minutes before kick-off I said: ‘We have come this far. We may as well win it.’
I never had big team-talks anyway.
Alex said afterwards it was an ordinary final. It wasn’t ordinary to Evertonians. It was exceptional.”
It is hard to imagine today, given that Oldham have no manager, a vast open space where a stand should be and the threat of relegation to League Two upon them, but their treatment of Liverpool in the last round was once the norm.
As well as the FA semi-finals there was a League Cup final appearance under Royle in 1990 (a defeat by Nottingham Forest), followed by promotion and three seasons in the top flight from 1991-94.
“Oldham were one of the founder members of the Premier League,” says Royle.
“It saddens me to see where they are. I have a son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren still [living] there so we are over in Oldham a lot. I still see a lot of fans. I went to see a lot of them the night before the Liverpool game. They were looking forward to it but were also worried. I was asked if I thought Oldham had a chance and said no, but then again neither did Bradford against Arsenal and Aston Villa. Oldham have got the same chance as they did against Liverpool – no chance but ...”
Waiting game Moyes considers his options
Everton manager David Moyes will wait until the end of the season before deciding whether to commit his future to the Premier League club, he said yesterday.
Moyes, 49, has spent 11 years at Goodison Park but his current contract is up at the end of the campaign and speculation has been intensifying about his future.
English media reports have linked Moyes with a close-season switch to Champions League holders Chelsea.
“I’ve spoken with the chairman (Bill Kenwright) and I want to see how the team do,” said Moyes.
“I want to see how we do in the cups and the league and it is more than likely that I won’t make a decision until the end of the season.
“You can ask me every week but I will probably give you the same answer.”