PHIL JAGIELKA has warned that when Nikica Jelavic rediscovers his goal scoring touch then Everton will be a force to be reckoned with.
Jelavic has found the net just once in the last eight league games with Marouane Fellaini leading the way for the Blues this season with eight goals.
But Jagielka is unconcerned by the Croatian striker’s difficult run and believes it is only a matter of time before the 27-year-old is back in the type of form which saw him plunder 11 goals after joining the club from Rangers in January.
Such dips are normal says Jagielka, who uses the example of how a pair of Newcastle United strikers have continued to share the scoring burden at St James’ Park over the last year.
And the Blues stand-in captain believes that when Jelavic is back amongst the goals then it will give Everton’s bid to qualify for the Champions League a major shot in the arm.
“Everything was working for him when he came and now the person who is playing up front with him – Felli – everything is coming off for him,” said Jagielka.
“Look up at Newcastle, Demba Ba was on fire then Papiss Cisse came and Ba didn’t score. This season it is the opposite way round, that is the way cycles go.
“We’d love to have both Felli and Jela firing on all cylinders but it’s not like Jela is getting into four or five good positions and missing easy chances every game.
“It is just not breaking for him.
“He knows we’re supporting him and he’ll get frustrated on the days it doesn’t happen but we know he’ll come good. And, at the moment we’re doing ok without his goals so when he does hit the ground running again he’ll make us even stronger.”
And having backed Jelavic to return to his best, Jagielka believes he is still working towards what he considers his most pleasing period at Everton.
“I had a little spell before I got injured when I was younger, which I would put up their with my best periods of form,” said Jagielka.
“I was playing alongside Jo (Joleon Lescott) and we were getting through to the FA Cup final and that season was where I felt most confident.
“I feel like I’m getting back to being there.”
Jagielka has suffered two knee injuries in his Goodison career and just hopes to remain fit and healthy.
“My knees have been feeling better than they have been for a while and so I do feel in a good state of mind everytime I go into a game, touch wood,” he added.
“It has only been 15 games so once we get through Christmas and the New Year and if my form is still up there then I will be able to look at it better.”
Jagielka was speaking at EA Sports’ Need for Speed challenge event, held at Finch Farm yesterday.
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