Everton FC defender Phil Jagielka warns team-mates to expect rough treatment at West Ham

20 December 2012 06:00
If Everton's players thought there would be time for their post-Stoke bumps and bruises to heal before the weekend, Phil Jagielka has a stark message for them.

They won’t. The Blues stand-in skipper insists his team-mates are in for more of the same physical bombardment when they make the trip to Upton Park on Saturday. It is a sadomasochistic coincidence that Everton have been pitted against two of the Premier League’s most combative outfits in consecutive games, but the England international is not complaining, even if he admits that it was a particularly testing afternoon at the Britannia Stadium.

“We were very happy once the final whistle had been blown,” Jagielka said with a wry smile.

“It is always tough at Stoke, they play to their strengths and we had it tough at times because we are not the biggest of teams. It was not a bad result, we could’ve kept a clean sheet and seen the game out but a point was not a bad result.

“We think this weekend will be pretty similar.

“We’ll study the videos towards the end of the week but we all watch football so know it is going to be quite a physical game again. We’re not sure if Andy Carroll is fit but if not then they’ll no doubt play balls towards Carlton Cole and play off the knockdowns.

“We are expecting a very physical and exciting game on Saturday.”

With Marouane Fellaini missing the first of three games after headbutting Ryan Shawcross last weekend, and injury doubts remaining over Tony Hibbert, Victor Anichebe, Phil Neville, and Kevin Mirallas, Everton’s small squad will be stretched over the busy festive period.

Source: liverpool_echo