Football

Jagielka not interested in targets

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Everton defender Phil Jagielka feels it is important to finish the season strongly but insists overhauling Liverpool or reaching Europe are not the prime aims.

The England international believes Europa League qualification is out of reach despite the Toffees' recent resurgence and does not want to overplay a potential late-season fight for position with the club's arch-rivals. Seventh-placed Everton kept the pressure on Liverpool above them with a convincing 2-0 win over Blackburn in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.

But Jagielka is mainly concerned about carrying momentum into next season and the 28-year-old said: "There is no point setting goals to try to beat another club. Obviously with it being our neighbours it adds to the spice but if you ask the boss he just wants to keep going and picking up as many points as possible."

He added: "We don't have to look over our shoulders now. It is pretty obvious we are going to be safe from relegation. But obviously with the way the Carling Cup went another European position in the league has gone.

"The gaffer has basically said it is just three points for the next game and that is all we can do. The season won't fizzle out. We are playing against a lot of clubs who are desperate for points for one reason or another.

"If we can keep this little run going it is something to hopefully carry into next season."

Everton face leaders Manchester United next Saturday before playing relegation-threatened Wigan the following weekend.

Their remaining home games feature two other top-four sides in Manchester City and Chelsea. The fixtures hold no fear for Jagielka who feels the Merseysiders now have nothing to lose.

He said: "The pressure is off in the league so let's go out there and try to win as many games as we can.

"The fans have had a frustrating time this season as well as the players and we want to put that behind us."

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Topics:
Europa League
Internationals
Football
Manchester City
Blackburn Rovers
League Cup
Chelsea
Premier League
Manchester United
Phil Jagielka
Everton
Wigan Athletic
Liverpool

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