Scholes: A first trophy would be huge for Ten Hag
United legend Paul Scholes says Erik ten Hag and co must not overlook the importance of the FA Cup, after the third-round draw pitted us against Everton.
Our tie with the Blues, which will be played at Old Trafford in early January, is one of five all-Premier League fixtures.
Scholes believes the tough match-up will focus minds, ahead of what he hopes will be a long and successful campaign towards our 13th FA Cup triumph.
And our former midfielder says the value of getting to Wembley could be priceless, especially in Ten Hag's first season as manager.
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“It will be important,” began Scholes. “It's important for the fans as well: to get to Wembley for a day out.
“We know, the fans probably know, that the league is a little bit out of reach this year. The Champions League, obviously, we'd like to be in.
“A big day out at the end of this season is something we're looking forward to. Hopefully it can come. We've not won a trophy for, what, five years now, so if Ten Hag can get an FA Cup or a League Cup in this first season, I think it will be a big step forward.”
The Reds exited the FA Cup at the fourth-round stage last season, after an agonising penalty shootout defeat to Middlesbrough.
But, generally, our home record is very good in the competition, with 10 straight wins preceding the 1-1 draw with Boro last term. That, along with Everton's modest form so far this season, gives Scholes plenty of optimism.
“We've got a difficult draw. But when you're at home you expect to beat anybody.
“Is it easier or more difficult to play Premier League opposition? We've played them before already this season, haven't we? We've beat them away this season, and I don't think Everton are the greatest of teams; they're having a bit of a struggle this year.
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“I know the FA Cup days can be different,” continued Scholes, “but I think it [Premier League opposition] concentrates the mind a little bit more as well. I think it makes you a little bit more aware of what you've got to do.
“You talk about potential banana skins in the FA Cup. This isn't a banana skin; it's something United have to be ready for.
“If they're not ready, they'll have a little bit of a shock on their hands.”