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Cahill calls for Moyes to be given cash boost

Tim Cahill has called for fresh investment to help carry Everton into the top four of the Premier League.

The attacking midfielder has been the heartbeat of Everton's impressive season but even he could not stop Chelsea lifting the FA Cup at Wembley after a 2-1 win.

Cahill will have an ongoing hip problem assessed over the next couple of days to decide whether he can join up with Australia's World Cup squad, but it was matters of a domestic nature that weighed most heavily on his mind after yesterday's loss.

Cahill said: "Hopefully there will be the investment needed to improve the squad. Now we have a good platform for next season. We have a lot of great youngsters to come in, some were on the bench at Wembley - Jose Baxter, Jack Rodwell, James Vaughan.

"We have a lot of fresh talent, and I just pray to God that all the lads stick together and stay here, and next season we can all come back and give it another good go.

"I've played 30-40 games, got my goals, and I aim to have a massive impact next season. My hip is pretty sore, but you get loads of knocks in football and you have to get on with it.

"I'm very proud of the lads, proud of the club and everyone involved here. The fans have been amazing and considering the injury problems we have had with a very small squad, what we have achieved is tremendous for Everton.''

Saturday marked Cahill's second FA Cup final defeat having reached the showpiece event in 2004 with Millwall, whose League One play-off failure earlier this month was viewed with dismay by the Australian.

He said: "I am very passionate about the fans and the club that I play for. The last time I played in a cup final it was with Millwall and we lost that one to Manchester United.

"Millwall is a club also very close to my heart and I was gutted that they didn't get promotion after reaching the play-off final. I was dejected by that, and now I feel the same for Everton, obviously. You walk off the Wembley pitch feeling you were so close yet so far away.

"But we beat some really good Premier League sides to get to Wembley, and we finished fifth in the table. Don't forget that makes us the fifth-best team in the country and we pushed Chelsea into a very good performance to beat us.

"But we do not sugar-coat anything at Everton, we lost the game and we must get on with life now. Chelsea were the better team.''

Moyes is acutely aware the next step could be the hardest one of all for Everton.

"I said last year the next step was to get to a final,'' reflected the Scot. "We have done that and in the process knocked over Liverpool, Aston Villa and Manchester United. We couldn't knock over Chelsea but we deserved to be in the final.

"The next bit hopefully will come next year.''

The solution for Everton is to invest a bit of cash. Yet that is easier said than done for a club run on a limited budget by chairman Bill Kenwright, who, in fairness, does what he can to squeeze every penny for Moyes to work with.

"It is difficult to put a figure on it,'' he said. "Look at Chelsea. Frank Lampard, John Terry and Didier Drogba are the ones you would want. They are the ones who win you games and eventually cups.

"That is the level we are at. But it is hard to win things in England. Everyone is competing for a small amount of trophies. We are trying to develop those players. This season we just needed one or two more at that level. If we had done that who knows?''

Moyes knows Kenwright will do his best. Equally he accepts there will be no windfall despite the FA Cup run.

He can only dream of the riches afforded to Mark Hughes at the other end of the blue East Lancs Road, while news that Portsmouth's rescue from poverty caused by one mega-rich owner who hit hard times, is the arrival of someone with even more cash.

It means the Scot will have to work harder still in the summer just to stand still. The challenge is not one he will shirk.

"One defeat will not overshadow the rest of the season,'' he said. "We finished fifth. I can't fault the players for that. I am really pleased with their efforts.''

Defiant skipper Phil Neville has demanded his side continue to move forward after their FA Cup final agony.

Neville said: "This is a bitter pill to swallow. We visualised holding the FA Cup, we wanted it to be celebrated for years, so when it does not happen it is very disappointing.

"To have got this far and lost in the final, after all the effort we have put into this competition, we are gutted. But we can be totally proud of our achievements and performances, we have had an amazing season.

"It was 1995 the last time Everton were at Wembley, now we have been here twice in one season. Next season we have to make sure that we come to Wembley a minimum twice again.

"Our fans are crying out for it, the manager is too. We must keep moving on. I agree with the boss (David Moyes) who said it is only a matter of time before start winning trophies, I do feel that too.

"We are heading in the right direction. We have our top players all tied on long-term contracts and we all feel we can achieve something together.

"We have to come back for pre-season after a summer break determined to go again, to make sure we do better than this, but it has been nothing short of a miracle season.''

Everton drew first blood with a goal after just 25 seconds from Louis Saha, the faster ever in cup final history.

But Chelsea relentlessly took charge and won thanks to a Didier Drogba header and Frank Lampard's second-half effort.

Neville said: "We started well, scored a great goal, but we didn't build on that when we had the chance early on. But up until they equalised I felt we would be the team to score the next one. Then in the second half it became more difficult in the heat.

"And after they scored the second, we had to chase the game, and to be fair they could have scored again.

"They expected us to come fast out of the traps, they know we are a physical, hard-working team. But after the goal we sat back too much and gave them too much respect.

"The second goal was a killer, it knocked the stuffing out of us.''


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