Depleted Everton squad must keep going says Phil Jagielka

Marouane Fellaini is suspended for three matches

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The Independent Football

Everton defender Phil Jagielka insists injuries and suspensions cannot be allowed to distract the squad as they look to maintain their challenge for Champions League qualification.

Midfielder Marouane Fellaini begins a three-match ban this weekend and although Phil Neville is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a knee injury the Toffees are still without Kevin Mirallas, Victor Anichebe and Tony Hibbert.

But Jagielka said manager David Moyes was well versed in getting the best out of a small squad and they needed to focus on ensuring there was no drop in performances.

"It's not like we have had massive squads in the past, it is par for the course that we have 16-18 senior players," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"It will test our squad because it is always a busy time but the manager knows what he is doing and if someone needs rest then I'm sure they'll get it.

"We just have to get some much-needed points to keep us at the top of the league.

"We don't want to be looking too far ahead - we normally have a good second half to the season but that is not a guarantee.

"The manager will be nervous now because this is where our season normally starts.

"It would be nice to put two parts of the season together rather than just one."