Everton captain Phil Jagielka says the players will use Seamus Coleman’s injury as motivation when they face Merseyside rivals Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.
Well, the Republic of Ireland suffered a serious double leg break during his nation’s goalless draw against Wales on Sunday, meaning he will miss the rest of this season, and probably some of next term too.
Rather than dwelling on the injury to the 28-year-old, Toffees skipper Jagielka wants his teammates to use it as extra spark against their arch-rivals, knowing they could close the gap to Jurgen Klopp’s side to three points if they can pick up a win at Anfield.
That will be a difficult task though, as they haven’t taken all three points there since 1999.
Jagielka told the official club website: “There’ll be no incentive needed, but the circumstances over the last few days might add a bit of a motivational edge on our behalf.
“We want to go out there and play well and it will be nice if we can all get to speak to Seamus beforehand.”
He will be a huge miss.
The right-back has become a key part of Ronald Koeman’s Everton side this term, appearing in 26 of his side’s 29 Premier League matches.
Ironically, he would have probably come up against Adam Lallana on Saturday, but the Liverpool man has been ruled out of the match because of an injury he picked up on international duty too.
Mason Holgate is the likely replacement for Coleman on the right side of the defence, but it is an issue that has added to Koeman’s problems ahead of the derby.
Midfielders Morgan Schneiderlin and James McCarthy also look set to miss out because of injury, as the Toffees look to close in on the Champions League spots.