Everton FC: Phil Jagielka targets a clean sheet at Chelsea
PHIL JAGIELKA is aiming to keep it clean at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Everton’s England defender (below) is desperate to keep a clean sheet – against a Chelsea side which has scored five and four in its last two Premier League outings.
And he accepts that his own form has to improve if he is to help achieve that aim.
“Am I happy with my form? No, not really,” he said. “We haven’t kept a clean sheet yet.
“I’ve given away a couple of penalties which is very frustrating, but I suppose that’s what happens if you’re a defender.
“I’d love to be standing here and saying ‘yes, I’m really really happy’ but I analyse my own game and set pretty high standards and hopefully in a month’s time we’ll have kept a few clean sheets and if you ask me the same question I’ll be a lot happier.”
The Blues have kept only one clean sheet in eight matches so far this season – and even that needed two penalty misses by Blackburn.
And they go to a Chelsea team which has started find its shooting boots with five goals at Bolton and four against Swansea.
“Fernando Torres won’t be available because of a suspension but they have plenty of strength in depth.”
Everton’s resources aren’t as deep, so the Blues will be hoping Jack Rodwell – free from suspension after the FA rescinded the red card awarded in the Goodison derby – recovers from a minor groin problem.
The young midfielder pulled out of the England Under-21 side to face Norway this week after picking up a groin injury in training.
England won the game 2-1, with Ross Barkley starting, although Rodwell is expected to be fit.
Seamus Coleman will also be hoping to start at Stamford Bridge after a frustrating trip to Andorra last weekend when he didn’t even find himself on the substitutes’ bench.
“Obviously I was very disappointed but there were another five lads up in the stand in the same situation,” he explained. “No-one’s going to be happy when they’re not on the bench but you have to get over that. The most important thing is the team and getting the win.
“Being a professional footballer you want to be on the pitch and if not the pitch, the bench.
“But you’ve just got to get on with it, work hard in training and see what happens.
“I’m not going to throw my toys out of the pram. I’m not like that. I want to be involved but if that isn’t the case I’ll just work harder.
“I think I’ve definitely developed very well, and it’s my aim to keep getting better and someday be a regular for my country. I’ve just got to keep my head down.”
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