Jagielka on the mend
Phil Jagielka is ready to step up his recovery from injury but admits he faces a difficult task in regaining his place.
By Jamie Casey
Last Updated: 14/02/12 6:07pm
Phil Jagielka is ready to step up his recovery from injury but admits he faces a difficult task in regaining his place in the first team.
Back-to-back home wins over Manchester City and Chelsea have breathed new life into Everton's season following a month of shrewd transfer business by manager David Moyes in January.
The Scot drafted in loan signings Steven Pienaar and Landon Donovan and added the permanent transfers of Darron Gibson and Nikica Jelavic.
Jagielka did not have such a productive month, though, picking up an injury against Bolton on January 4, but the centre-half insists both he and Leon Osman - also injured against the Trotters - are on the mend.
"It has probably been the longest January ever but I have got over that and am out of the brace and starting to do more in training as well," he said.
"I have had Ossie (Osman) for company which has been good and we'll hopefully be stepping it up in the next couple of weeks. I am getting there.
"We are itching to get back - although we'll probably be sat on the bench or in the stand the way the team are playing at the moment."
The Toffees have only lost twice since the turn of the year - to Bolton and Tottenham - and Jagielka hopes it is the beginning of a strong finish in the back end of the season.
"The whole team looks different and they look brilliant every game," he told the club's official website.
"We have added quality in January - Nikica has not played much yet - but Denis is like a new signing, the raging bull up front chasing everything down and he has got himself a couple of goals.
"The back four are doing fantastically - they have changed around in the last month or so - and hopefully we can have a much better second half of the season to the first.
"It proves what a good team we've got."
Meanwhile, Seamus Coleman made a goalscoring return to Everton's reserves while teenager Ross Barkley also stepped up his bid for full fitness with a run out and goal in the 6-3 win over Newcastle at the club's Finch Farm training complex.