Ratcliffe: Moyes will be wary of Everton making early FA Cup exit

The Toffees legend managed Shrewsbury to a third round win over his former side 10 years ago but does not expect a similar shock against Cheltenham on Monday night
By Russell Stoddart

Everton legend Kevin Ratcliffe believes David Moyes will not take Cheltenham Town lightly in their FA Cup clash on Monday night.

The former Toffees defender, who captained the club during the 1980s, was in charge of Shrewsbury when they humbled the Goodison Park side 2-1 in the third round 10 years ago, in Moyes' first FA Cup game in charge of the Merseyside outfit.

"The last thing I told the players was not to show too much respect to Everton and it is important that the Cheltenham players are told the same," Ratcliffe told Goal.com.

"We didn't have the best of pitches, which worked to our advantage, and the Everton players would not have been used to such modest surroundings.

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"I got the feeling that four or five Everton players didn't fancy it that day, while we had 11 guys hungry to cause an upset. Cheltenham will need something similar, but I doubt David will allow that to happen again.

"David didn't join us for a customary post-match drink and I was disappointed with that. However, the phone in my office rung at nine o'clock on the Monday morning and it was David with an apology.

"He told me that he had watched the whole game on video and was impressed with how well we had played and deserved to win. I was quite impressed that he had picked up the phone to do that."

Ratcliffe believes that the current Everton side has a chance of ending Moyes' 11-year wait for his first trophy at the club, having suffered a narrow defeat in the 2009 final against Chelsea and surrendering a half-time lead to bitter rivals Liverpool in last season's semi-final.

"David isn't happy with second best," Ratcliffe said. "It has been tough for him because he doesn't have the resources of some other sides.

"But he will be heartened that only the two Manchester clubs have gained more points in 2012 and that shows he is getting there. This is a much better Everton side than the one that lost to Shrewsbury in 2003.

"They have good players in every position now, and in Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini they have players of top, top class.

"The team that finished fourth in the Premier League a few years ago is as good a side as any since we won the league 20-odd years ago, but the current side can at least emulate that.

"If anything, they perhaps lack a cutting edge at the moment, but if they can get Nikica Jelavic firing on all cylinders like he did last season, then just about anything is possible."

Although the Shrews revelled in their cup shock, Ratcliffe would have swapped it for retaining their Football League status, as they were relegated from then Division Three at the end of the season.

"I think one or two players after the Everton game thought they were better than Shrewsbury and that was frustrating," added Ratcliffe, who won two league championships, an FA Cup and a European Cup Winners' Cup with Everton.

"We reached the northern final of the LDV Vans Trophy as well that season, so we had our moments, but we might have been distracted by our cup success and it cost us dear in the end."