Moyes reveals half-time hairdryer treatment
Everton boss David Moyes revealed that his players were given the scolding of their lives to get them back into their FA Cup quarter-final with Middlesbrough.
Boro were deservedly ahead at the break thanks to a David Wheater header, and Moyes and his coach Steve Round both laid into their side at the break.
They got their required response in a six-minute spell which saw Marouane Fellaini and substitute Louis Saha grab the goals which secured a 2-1 win and a semi-final place against Manchester United on the weekend of April 18/19.
That will be a repeat of the 1995 final, when Everton beat Manchester United 1-0 thanks to a Paul Rideout winner.
Everton had not reached the semi-finals of the competition since that year, and Moyes feared for a long spell in the opening hour that they would fail to make it to the last four this time.
He said: "It was (as case of) who could get into the dressing room first to have a real go at them. It was Steve Round, my coach, who got there first.
"The way we played in the first half is not the way Everton play. And they were told that in no uncertain terms by both of us.
"But we are delighted to have got this far. We were favourites but I was worried that there would be one game this weekend that didn't go the way everyone expected. For a long while I feared it would be us.
"There was a lot of re-organisation needed at the break, but they also needed to be really charged up.
"We have talked a good game beforehand, but we didn't do anything in that first half to deserve a semi-final place.
"I can be angry at half-time, but Steve got there first this time and did a good job on them.
"I felt they responded very well. For the first 15 minutes of the second half they were really up for it.
"It is not easy to come from behind to beat a Premier League side, and we needed to be at our best. Louis Saha gave us a real direction up front, we haven't got many others in the side who can give us that goal threat.''
Moyes added: "Middlesbrough played well, but we have earned the right to go to a final having beaten Liverpool and Aston Villa so far. Now we have to beat a really good side to get to the final.
"I felt Louis would last 30 minutes (because of his injuries), but in the end he had 45 and was excellent. He will be a big player for us when he can start matches.''
Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate admitted his side, battling relegation in the Barclays Premier League, could not handle Everton's comeback.
He said: "Of course it is a huge disappointment to lose a cup semi-final, and we were in a position of being 45 minutes from Wembley.
"Everybody's emotions are pretty raw, but the way we gave the lead away underlines why we are where we are this season.
"We had commitment and endeavour, but we have to learn how to win matches and see matches through to the end.
"We had a six-minute period where we didn't deal with the high balls into the box, which we had done brilliantly before that. There were harsh lessons to learn.''
Southgate refused to blame goalkeeper Brad Jones, who was at fault for both Everton goals.
He said: "We win or lose as a team, I do not understand why people always want to find someone to blame. For every goal that is conceded, there are three or four mistakes in the lead up to it.
"As far as I am concerned, Brad Jones has been excellent for us, whatever might have happened on the goals, that is football.
"Did we do enough as a team to win the game? Probably not, that is what we must look at.
"It is a shame for the fans. Going to Wembley would have been something to look forward to, but now we have a quarter of the season to go to get ourselves out of the relegation zone.
"We have been excellent in the cup, now we have to stick together and get through this. There have been some tough evenings to endure after matches, now we have to get over this and keep fighting in the league.''