PHIL JAGIELKA insists Everton must go back on the attack for the Merseyside derby after their defensive stint against Manchester City.
The England defender has been buoyed by the Blues’ home form, having lost just once in five games at Goodison this season, and believes the best way to topple Liverpool is by returning to the attacking blueprint that saw them defeat Wigan 3-1 in their last league outing.
Jagielka, 29, acknowledges that Everton’s city rivals will represent another stern test after the 2-0 reverse at Manchester City’s Etihad stadium, but hopes the Blues approach the 216th Merseyside derby with only victory in mind.
He said: “At home we have been doing okay. We changed things around a little bit for the City game, so hopefully we can go back to the way we have been for the Liverpool game and put up a performance and try to get a win.
“It’ll be nice to get back to that. It’s still going to be hard against Liverpool, they’ve had a decent start to the season so we’re not pretending we’ll be up against a Liverpool that is struggling.
“They have brought in a lot of good players and a lot of good quality. As much as we say we are looking forward to the derby, we aren’t expecting to automatically win it.
“But we will be trying our best to get three points, whereas against City it was more us looking for a draw and maybe nicking a goal.”
David Moyes’ side are on the brink of a difficult run of fixtures in the Premier League, with trips to Chelsea, Fulham and then the visit of Manchester United in October all following Saturday’s derby.
But Jagielka says a high-octane clash with Liverpool is the perfect way to bounce back from the disappointment of defeat by Manchester City, that saw Everton lose their winning record over the Citizens.
“People would have looked at the fixture list and thought we were entering a run of games where maybe we aren’t expected to get maximum points,” he said.
“There won’t need to be a reaction for the Liverpool game. It’s a good game for us to have after the City defeat.”
Jagielka's central defensive partner Sylvain Distin is still in talks with the Blues about extending his own contract, as he attempts to agree a two-year extension to a deal that ends next summer.
But one player who has signed a contract, until January at least, is Marcus Hahnemann, who has described his excitement at signing for Everton on loan until January.
The 39-year-old former Wolves goalkeeper, who will contest Jan Mucha for the spot of deputy to Tim Howard, said he signed for the Blues because he was impressed by David Moyes.
He said: “I didn’t come here for the money – let’s just put that there. That didn’t quite happen. I get a good feeling for managers when I listen to them being interviewed but when I chatted to him on Friday about what we were both looking for he seems like a great guy and I don't know how anyone could not want to play for him.
“We’ve had a decent start but we’ve got a big game this weekend and then we got to Chelsea.
“I’ve been training at Wolves and not belonging so to come to Everton means I’m over the moon.”