Phil Jagielka believes Everton's mean machine could not be facing two derby battles with Liverpool in a better frame of mind.
The tough defender has helped to mastermind nine hours without conceding a goal in a six-match unbeaten run which has seen the Toffees cement their place firmly in the Barclays Premier League top six.
"A few months ago we couldn't buy a clean sheet, but now we have started to defend really well and it's six games without us conceding now," he said. "We are performing well, getting the lead and then seeing out games with the way we are playing at the back. It is certainly the right form to be in going into two games with Liverpool next."
He added: "But Hull were tough. They are new to the division but they made us work as hard as any team I have played against, they didn't have that many chances though but we had to work for the win."
The downside for Everton is that Marouane Fellaini's 10th booking of the season rules him out of both Liverpool clashes, and further stretches boss David Moyes' injury-hit squad.
Jagielka said: "The shame is that Fellaini got booked and is now banned from the two derbies.
"We all knew he was on a tightrope, but he was always likely to get booked over the next few games so he would have missed a couple of games anyway.
"But we are not happy with the free-kick given against him that caused that latest booking. It was a bit pathetic really, to get booked for something like that, he took the ball and their lad (Michael Turner) ducked really low.
"But we have to get on with it now without him for both the Liverpool games."
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