Everton defender Phil Jagielka has told the Liverpool Echo that he wants his team to beat Stoke City tomorrow in order to bolster their push for Europe.
The Merseyside club will host Tony Pulis’ men at Goodison Park nurturing a strong chance of claiming Champions League football.
At present, they are just six points shy of fourth-place Tottenham Hotspur but have played a game less, and trail Arsenal by just two points.
The Toffees dispatched Manchester City 2-0 in their last game before the international break, and seem to have rediscovered their best form at just about the right time. It was precisely this part of the year last season when David Moyes’ troops went on a phenomenal run to transform their average 2011/12 campaign into an impressive one.
And Jagielka wants his side to fire on all cylinders tomorrow when they square off with the Potters so as to keep up with their top-four rivals.
The 30-year-old warned the Potters to expect an attacking game from them and revealed that they had only a win on their minds.
He told the Liverpool Echo: “We need to win games now. If we were to draw I’m not saying it would be the end of the season but we have to go out ultra-positive and really take it to teams and see how we go. It might make the manager’s decision making a little bit easier.
“The manager can be ultra-positive now and throw the shackles off.”
The reverse fixture between the two sides at the Britannia Stadium back in November was marred by acerbity, as Marouane Fellaini was involved in an ugly brawl with Ryan Shawcross. The Belgian ace elbowed the Stoke defender in the face, which resulted in the FA slapping a three-match suspension on him after the game.
And although Jagielka was not willing to dwell in the past, he recalled the physical nature of the match and opined that Fellaini was being enticed by Shawcross.
He added: “I don’t think we got any help from the officials at all. You can’t condone what Felli did but in the build-up he was getting wrestled all the time. We won’t look back at the game though because now we need to concentrate on being positive and getting the right results.”
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