DAVID Vaughan is desperate to relive the Wembley dream after savouring the highlight of his career on his only visit to the national stadium.
The Sunderland midfielder was part of the Blackpool team which triumphed at Wembley in the 2010 play-off final to end the Seasiders’ almost 40-year exodus from the top flight.
Victory in this weekend’s FA Cup quarter-final against Everton would send Vaughan back to the hallowed turf as the Black Cats look to secure a final four place in the competition for the first time since 2004.
But the 29-year-old realises the challenge standing in Sunderland’s path as they face an Everton side flush with confidence from a nine-game unbeaten run – beating Spurs, Chelsea and Man City in their last three Premier League outings at Goodison.
Vaughan told the Gazette: “The trip to Wembley with Blackpool was great, it was probably the best moment of my career.
“Hopefully I can go back there with Sunderland and relive that.
“You don’t get bigger occasions than a big FA Cup game at Wembley. If we can be part of that, it would be great.
“It’s a huge game, and we’re desperate to get through to the semis.
“Everton are a really strong team, especially at home, and it’s going to be a really difficult game for us.
“The home game we played in the league against them was a tight one. We can’t let them have any easy opportunities, and hopefully we can get some ourselves.
“Anything but a loss would be good for us there, but hopefully we can get a win.
“We needed to turn things around against Liverpool last weekend and get a few points on the board. Winning games breeds the confidence that you can keep winning.”
Vaughan will be in contention to start on Saturday lunchtime, if on-loan Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner fails to recover from the knee injury sustained in the closing stages of last weekend’s victory over Liverpool.
Welsh international Vaughan replaced the injured Bendtner to make his first Sunderland appearance in more than a month following an ankle problem after the former Real Sociedad man had been a fixture in the starting line-up for Martin O’Neill’s first 11 games in charge.
He added: “The timing of the injury wasn’t great because I’d just established myself in the team. But hopefully I can do that again.
“It was nice to play the games under the manager when he first came in.
“He brought me on for the last 15 minutes on Saturday and I was just pleased to get back on the pitch and to get a win as well because Liverpool didn’t really create many problems during that period.
“It’s been frustrating over the last month, sitting on the sidelines watching the games.
“But you’ve just got to work harder and get yourself back fit and back in the team.”