David Moyes says having Phil Jagielka back is a massive boost for Everton ahead of their home game with Sunderland on Saturday.
Jagielka has missed large chunks of the season with various niggling injuries but returned to action in Everton’s FA Cup win at Chelsea last weekend.
“Phil Jagielka is a massive player for Everton for the way he goes about things on the pitch,” Moyes said.
“He’s been dogged with injuries throughout the year and never quite shaken them off. He had a thigh strain for over a month.”
“We have some great players at centre-half – Jon Heitinga, Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka.”
“We had to let Joseph Yobo go out on loan because there was no way we could accommodate them all.”
Last weekend’s FA Cup penalty shoot-out win over holders and reigning Premier League champions Chelsea proved Everton have the potential to beat anybody.
“We worked very hard for our win over Chelsea last week,” Moyes said.
“The players did excellently and clearly care about their profession and their jobs.”
“I want us to do our best in every game. All you can do is win the next game and we are trying to do that and then see where we go from there.”
“In the main we have finished in the top ten over the time I have been here and I think that’s an achievement in itself at a club like Everton.”
“For me personally I want to win trophies, be at the top of the league and be in the Champions League.”
Moyes praised his counterpart Steve Bruce’s progress since taking charge at Sunderland in 2009.
“Steve Bruce has got a good squad although he has lost Darren Bent and he has been well supported by the club’s board,” Moyes said.
“Sunderland have always been a big club and I think their investment and the way they have gone about things has meant they are having a good go at it this season.”
“If we’d got a result in our last game we wouldn’t be too far away from Sunderland but if we lose on Saturday they will look a long way away from us.”
“We have to get the points to try and stay in touch with them.”
Tim Cahill (knee), Jack Rodwell (groin) and Louis Saha (hamstring) are all doubtful for Everton.