Sunday 25 February 2018

Jagielka: Palace win a timely one

Everton captain Phil Jagielka is pleased to be heading into a Merseyside derby with a win.
Everton captain Phil Jagielka is pleased to be heading into a Merseyside derby with a win.

Everton captain Phil Jagielka believes the much-needed win at Crystal Palace on Saturday has come at just the right time for the Toffees.

Roberto Martinez's side had won just once in 13 games across all competitions ahead of a tight and tense 1-0 victory in south London.

Romelu Lukaku scored the game's only goal with less than two minutes on the clock and Everton had to withstand strong Palace pressure with Jagielka hooking Dwight Gayle's goalbound effort off the line as the Eagles came close to a share of the spoils.

With a Merseyside derby at home to Liverpool coming up next weekend ahead of a trip to Chelsea and a return to Europa League action, Jagielka knows the morale-boosting win at Selhurst Park was something the squad needed.

"We have got a win that has been long overdue and hopefully we can go on a run," the England defender said.

"Not many of the boys would have needed a lift going into the derby but it wouldn't have been nice going into it if we hadn't have got the win."

Having impressed under Martinez last season, this year has been something of a disappointment thus far but, with 15 Premier League games remaining and a winnable-looking tie against Young Boys in the Europa League, Jagielka feels Everton's players still have a chance to put that right.

"The way things go, especially in football, we tend to build people up very quickly and shoot them down just as quickly," he said.

"That is the same with us. The manager and the players ,we have took a lot of stick but people pay a lot of money to come and see us play. They are allowed their opinion, we understand that and we know that is the nature of the beast. We will keep going for as long as the season goes.

"You are superstars if you win, although a 1-0 win doesn't make us superstars yet. But a victory next week against Liverpool might.

"There is still a long way to go in the season, we have got a lot of confidence in this squad but when you are not winning games or picking up three points that gap gets smaller and smaller.

"We know we have got a difficult run coming up and as players you cant help to look to the future and know you have to start winning sooner or later.

"With the squad that the manager has got here that we shouldn't be looking over our shoulder but we are not stupid enough to think that we are too good not to."

The defeat was Palace's first since Alan Pardew was appointed manager at the turn of the year, with the former Newcastle boss having won his opening four games in charge.

It was the third time the Eagles have conceded first under the 53-year-old but Pardew insists he will continue to name a side full of attacking intent.

"No, same attitude, same application," he said when asked if changes would be made following his first loss.

"Hopefully we can defend the first two minutes better than we did (against Everton) and we can get ourselves a great result, it's a big game next week (against Leicester). It's a big week actually. We then have Newcastle on the Wednesday and then the FA Cup. It will be a big week for the football club."

Palace defender Scott Dann also acknowledged that conceding the first goal in games on a regular basis is eventually going to hurt the hopes of positive results.

"We can't keep keep falling behind and giving teams in the Premier League a head start," he said.

"More often or not you can't get back in the game and that showed here. We need to make sure we stop conceding early goals."

The Eagles announced their fourth signing of the transfer window on Sunday morning as Senegal international defender Pape Souare completed a move from Lille for an undisclosed fee.

The 24-year-old will link up with his new team-mates once a work permit has been awarded and joins Yaya Sanogo, Jordon Mutch and Shola Ameobi in moving to Selhurst Park in recent weeks.

Press Association

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