McManaman came back to haunt his former club, scoring the second of three goals in a four-minute blitz to send Roberto Martinez's side through to the semi-finals of the competition.
The 21-year-old, who was released by Everton six years ago before rebuilding his career at the DW Stadium, admitted his well-taken goal was bittersweet but necessary in keeping alive his ambition of playing in an FA Cup final.
"I was there for nine years and was released when I was 15 and it broke my heart to be honest but I still look out for Everton's results," he said.
"I was gutted when it happened but you just have to get on with it.
"It was make or break when I left. I either packed it in or went and found another club and Wigan came knocking and I haven't looked back."
McManaman can now look forward to competing in a Wembley semi-final, as long as he can convince Martinez he is worth his place in the team.
"You dream of it as a kid and I can't wait for it now," he added. "Most games I've scored so I've enjoyed the FA Cup. It is a special competition and everyone is up for it.
"We just have to keep going because if we get to the final anything can happen. I'd be disappointed if I'm not playing at Wembley."