• Premier League

Jagielka: Top four still in Everton's sights

ESPN staff
December 3, 2012
Phil Jagielka has Champions League aspirations © PA Photos

Phil Jagielka says Everton can take advantage of the "crazy" Premier League to claim a top-four finish and qualify for the Champions League.

David Moyes' team have hung on to sixth place despite drawing seven of their last nine matches, registering another point at Manchester City on Saturday.

With only one league win since the end of September, when they were second, Everton might have expected to have slipped further down the table but are only three points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham, who visit Goodison Park on Sunday.

Everton have proved they can live with the regular Champions League challengers in their last two matches, securing 1-1 draws against Arsenal and Manchester City.

Three of the five teams above them - Chelsea, West Brom and Arsenal - lost on Saturday, and Jagielka sees that as evidence that anything could happen in the chase for the top four.

The England centre-back told the Liverpool Daily Post: "It is going to be quite wide open. The last few seasons, the Premier League has gone a little bit crazy, with teams finishing almost anywhere.

"The title has been between two or three teams, but the Champions League is there for anyone. Tottenham have done it, Newcastle had a crack at it.

"We have only got to look back at the last two seasons to see how we have started. We haven't given ourselves a chance. We aren't favourites to finish fourth by any stretch of the imagination, but at least we are in the mix."

Jagielka hit back at critics who say Everton's squad lacks sufficient depth for a sustained challenge, saying: "Maybe that is why people are not talking us up, but it doesn't bother us. The squad isn't going to get much bigger, so it will be all down to how the manager manages us."

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