Everton defender Phil Jagielka looking for derby victory at Anfield
05 May 2013 10:33
Everton defender Phil Jagielka is pleased to be going into Sunday's derby as top dogs on Merseyside - and wants a win.
The Toffees visit Anfield with a five point lead and just three games remaining so can confirm they will finish above Liverpool for the second successive season with a victory.
That is a prospect Jagielka is relishing even though there is no silverware on offer for either club this season.
"For us it's nice to be ahead of them rather than trying to chase them," said Jagielka.
"Even though it is a game which won't decide much, there will still be plenty of pressure on both teams. "It won't decide silverware - it won't decide who finishes in the top four - but we would still like to go to Anfield, win and build on that for next season."
Everton have won just one of their last 12 Merseyside derbies in the Premier League but Jagielka feels that statistic is a curiosity given their form against the other big clubs.
"The derby record at Anfield is very strange," he added.
"If you look at the same period of time, we have tended to do a lot better against the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and United. We have made mistakes and been punished. "Liverpool have had a number of penalties either because of sloppy mistakes on our behalf or harsh decisions.
"Without them we could have won. It sounds like sour grapes but we haven't been good enough to come out on top.
"Maybe we try too hard in these games. We have gone into them as massive underdogs. We now feel we are climbing up that ladder and we can shake off that tag."Milestone
Jagielka is set to make the 500th appearance of his career at Anfield on Sunday and is hoping he can overshadow Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, who is playing his final derby.
"I now have my own big day to deal with," said the England international defender. "It will be Jamie's last Merseyside derby but it would be nice for my 500th game to outweigh his last derby.
"But he's definitely been an inspiration to me. I take my hat off to him. He's had a fantastic career and got quite a few trophies as well.
"He's up there with the records at Liverpool and it's not as though he's just been around and done an okay job. For the last ten years him and Stevie have been pretty much the spine of Liverpool and kept them going.
"I'm sure Liverpool fans love him to bits and would love him to stay. But he knows his own body and mindset and he's looking forward to the next chapter."