PHIL Jagielka today admitted Everton are too uptight during games as they battle to get their season going.
The England defender says the Blues are still learning to adapt to the pressure, and must be more patient when games are not going their way.
Now the 28-year-old hopes Everton use their last-gasp draw against Manchester United as a springboard to face Newcastle tomorrow with fire in their bellies – and win their first game of the campaign.
He said: “We definitely need to relax, we are a bit uptight at the moment. If we are not 1-0 up or 2-0 up after half an hour the fans might start to get a bit edgy, and we start to get a bit edgy.
“We need to adapt to that new pressure now. Where there was a time that 0-0 and 1-0 was acceptable they are probably not anymore.
“We have been slightly unfortunate. Every little mistake we been punished for. It may sound like an excuse, but we haven’t played horrific football. There was nothing in the Blackburn game, we played really well for 45 minutes against Wolves and against Villa if you were neutral you would say we were easily the better team.”
The Blues look likely to face Newcastle without Tim Cahill, who is understood to be injured.
With the Aussie likely to be out for a week, it means David Moyes’ new strike force of Cahill and Fellaini will have to be dismantled already.
Cahill’s injury could pave the way for Yakubu to start against Newcastle, although Moyes has admitted the Nigerian is not ready to play 90 minutes yet.
Jermaine Beckford will also be in contention, as the Blues look to find the right formula up front.
Meanwhile, Moyes and his assistant Steve Round have admitted to improper conduct charges, the Football Association have said.
Moyes and Round were hit with the charges for their behaviour towards referee Martin Atkinson at the full-time whistle in the 3-3 draw with Manchester United.
Everton trailed 3-1 heading into injury time but struck through Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta to level. But the Blues management team were left furious when Atkinson blew his final whistle with Phil Jagielka closing in on goal in the dying seconds, with Moyes walking on to the field to speak to the official.
Moyes had indicated that he would plead guilty and has received an £8,000 fine over the incident. Round, has submitted a plea in mitigation against the fine, which will be heard by a Regulatory Commission hearing on Monday.
An FA statement read: “Everton manager David Moyes and assistant manager Steve Round have admitted improper conduct charges.
“The charges related to Moyes’ and Round’s conduct towards referee Martin Atkinson.
“Moyes has accepted the £8,000 fine which is the standard sanction offered for this charge under the FA’s new fast-track disciplinary procedures.
“Round has submitted a plea in mitigation with relation to the standard sanction. This will be heard by a Regulatory Commission on Monday 20 September.”
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