x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Pienaar: We can live with the big boys

South African winger Steven Pienaar thinks Everton have proved they can live with the top four as he prepares for the biggest game of his life.

South African winger Steven Pienaar thinks Everton have proved they can live with the top four as he prepares for the biggest game of his life. Pienaar, 27, has had a major impact on Everton's impressive campaign, even more so since he was thrust into the playmaker role following Mikel Arteta's season-ending knee injury. Pienaar hopes his mother, watching from back home in Johannesburg, does not do any more damage to the family television when she watches her son play in the FA Cup final against Chelsea tomorrow.

"There is a lot of interest in me back home in South Africa, particularly since we got to the final," said Pienaar. "But I was told after the semi-final win over Manchester United at Wembley that my mum almost broke the TV in her excitement when she was watching the penalty shoot-out. "Lots of my family are coming over for the match, but mum has to stay behind to look after my little sister. I always ring her just before a match to see if she is okay. I just hope she doesn't do any more damage to the TV this time."

Now Pienaar aims to cap a great season for the Toffees, who finished in fifth place in the Premier League, by guiding them to their first trophy since they last won the cup in 1995. And he has no fears of facing one of the country's big four clubs. "We have already beaten two sides from the top four, so we can beat another this time," he said. "It has been a long time for our fans not to have had a cup final, and we know the city will go crazy if we do win at Wembley.

"Our fans are passionate and they deserve success like this. We aim to give them their reward for all the loyalty they have shown to this club over the years. "Chelsea are a great side, but nothing is impossible. We have drawn with them twice already, so we really believe we can beat them this time." * PA Sport