CALLUM McManaman reflected on “the greatest day of my life” as Wigan Athletic crushed Everton to reach Wembley in style.
The 21-year-old was only on the pitch for 40 minutes before injury curtailed his involvement, but that was more than enough to ensure Latics made it through to the FA Cup semi-finals.
McManaman, a lifelong Evertonian, was outstanding against the club who rejected him as a schoolboy, scoring the killer second goal with a superb piece of opportunism.
He limped off just before the break after taking a hefty challenge to the ankle, but it was smiles all round as he emerged from the dressing room.
“I can’t believe it,” said McManaman (pictured). “It’s the greatest day of my life. Unbelievable.
“I don’t even know what to say. I can’t explain how I’m feeling right now.
“It’s just a dream come true – I’m absolutely made up.
“I was at Everton for nine years until I was released at 15.
“It broke my heart to be honest, but I’m made up with the way things have turned out.
“I don’t even remember the goal. I just say the goalie come out and tried to lift it over him.”
McManaman, arguably Wigan’s stand-out performer of the cup run, now faces an anxious wait to discover whether he’ll be fit enough to take his place at Wembley.
His ankle will be scanned this week, although he believes the damage is only minor.
“My ankle has swelled up, I’m just hoping it’s only a strain,” he added.
“I’d be so disappointed if I didn’t play at Wembley after all this.
“We were all quietly confident coming here – knew that if we could have enough of the early possession we could do something with it.
“I just need to make sure I’m fit enough to play in the semi-finals. That would be amazing.”
More reaction in Monday’s Wigan Evening Post