Everton need confidence boost admits Phil Jagielka

 

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The Independent Online

Everton defender Phil Jagielka admits the club's current run of poor results has crushed confidence within the squad.

Saturday's defeat at Newcastle was their fifth in six Barclays Premier League matches while they have also exited the Carling Cup to Chelsea during that period.

It has left the Toffees 17th in the table, just a point above the relegation zone - although they have played one match fewer than all their rivals.

The season began badly when the opening game of the season at Tottenham was postponed because of rioting in the capital and when their campaign finally kicked off Everton lost 1-0 at home to newcomers QPR.

David Moyes' side, traditionally slow starters, appeared to bounce back by taking seven points from their next three fixtures but a run of games against Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Fulham, Manchester United and Newcastle has brought just one win against the Cottagers.

"We are a little low on confidence and morale is not quite there with the league position and the points we have got," said the centre-back, who has been named in the England squad for the forthcoming friendlies with Spain and Sweden.

"The strikers are low on confidence because they're not scoring much and the defenders aren't exactly buzzing because we're conceding one or two every game.

"The forwards need confidence in us keeping clean sheets as well, and it bounces off everyone.

"We've still got some good players. Maybe not with the confidence you'd need though.

"The manager's got a hard job to do now in terms of getting confidence and morale back up."

But while it may be Moyes' job to lift the spirit within the squad, Jagielka knows it is the players' responsibility to start getting results on the pitch.

"There's not much we can do about those games other than try and take some experience," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"It's a frustrating time from back to front but there's no point finger pointing, hopefully we can get out of it together.

"It is only us that can turn it round."

The international break may be a blessing in disguise for the beleaguered Everton players but when they return in just less than a fortnight's time they have an important spell ahead of them.

Wolves visit Goodison Park on November 19 but Arsenal are the only club currently inside the top seven whom they face until the trip to Manchester City on February 1.

But although their fixture difficulties have eased Jagielka insists they can take nothing for granted.

"It is a long season and hopefully we can pick ourselves up and look to the Wolves game and pick up some points," he told evertontv.

"I don't necessarily think it will get easier as I think there will be pressure on us now.

"In the games we have lost there was not that expectation on us to get points but - and rightly so - we will be expected to get points from our next four or five games and start climbing the table.

"This is where we need to put our foot down and start scoring goals and keeping clean sheets."

PA

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