Football

Seventh heaven enough for Toffees duo

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Phil Jagielka and Tim Howard are determined to ensure Everton finish in the top seven of the Barclays Premier League this season.

The Toffees have lost just one in their least eight league games after a typically sluggish start to the season and currently sit in seventh place - two points clear of Bolton.

With three games remaining, it would seem unlikely that David Moyes's side will be able to overhaul the seven point deficit between them and Tottenham and Liverpool, but they could do their rivals a favour this weekend.

Everton take on Manchester City at Goodison Park on Saturday, and three points for the Toffees will provide Spurs and Liverpool with a slim chance of qualifying for the Champions League.

Jagielka, however, is just focused on his own duties and is hoping Everton may be able to take advantage of City peering nervously over their shoulders.

"They've got Champions League football on their minds and we want to stay in seventh at the very least," Jagielka told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"There are points to play for. We've had a decent run against them especially away so it'll be interesting to see how we get on at home."

The 28-year-old defender was also full of praise for teammate Howard, who had to be at his best to ensure the Merseysiders gained a point at Wigan last weekend.

"He's been playing well recently and he did at Old Trafford as well," the England international said of the American goalkeeper.




 

"He was there when we needed him to stop the shots. The game was far too open for us and they had far too many shots.

"We've three more games and hopefully in our next home game we can perform better and see what happens."

Howard, however, has been disappointed of late at not being able to keep more clean sheets.

“I think eight clean sheets is a low return and is an under-achievement for the group we have defensively,” Howard told the official Everton website.

“I don't think we’re playing badly defensively. We’ve been unlucky in that we’ve been our own worst enemy at times.

“We are all good enough players and big enough to be counted not to worry about those sort of things.

“Our goal difference is where it should be for a team in seventh place."

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Topics:
Football
Tim Howard
Premier League
Phil Jagielka
Everton

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