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Jelavic hoping to get more chances

05 Jan 2014 13:47:02

Jelavic hoping to get more chances

Everton striker Nikica Jelavic hopes the way he made use of getting a full 90 minutes for the first time this season will have convinced Toffees boss Roberto Martinez to give him more game time.

Playing the entire duration of Saturday's FA Cup third-round home clash with QPR, Jelavic scored twice - and missed a penalty - in his side's comprehensive 4-0 victory.

It was the first time the Croatia international had netted since March, on what was his first start since September.

Jelavic has spent much of this term watching on from the bench as Romelu Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, has done an impressive job of leading the Everton line.

Bearing in mind the 28-year-old's hopes of playing at this summer's World Cup, Martinez has made it clear he feels it is only fair he listens to offers for Jelavic, and there have been inquiries from other clubs, with QPR reportedly among them.

But the manager has also said he does not really want to lose Jelavic's services, stressing he will not be sold "on the cheap".

And while the player himself has indicated he is keeping an open mind about his future, he has also emphasised he is looking for more of a chance with Everton.

"It's been difficult," Jelavic told evertontv.

"But Romelu (scorer of nine goals for the Toffees this season) is on fire - I'm delighted for him if I'm being honest.

"I'm training hard and every day I have been waiting for my chance.

"Now the manager saw that he can count on me as well, so we will see.

"We will see in the end but I hope he is going to give me more chances."

Jelavic scored in the 44th and 68th minutes as Everton, currently fifth in the Barclays Premier League, overwhelmed Sky Bet Championship promotion-chasers QPR

His first goal, nine minutes after Ross Barkley's opener, came when he took advantage of Karl Henry losing the ball before crashing a shot past Julio Cesar from outside the box. Jelavic then met Bryan Oviedo's cross to convert from close range for his second.

He blew a golden opportunity to complete his hat-trick in the 75th minute when he chipped a penalty against the bar, and a minute later Seamus Coleman's strike wrapped up the scoring.

"After a while I have played 90 minutes so I enjoyed every minute on the pitch," Jelavic said.

"I was unlucky to not score a hat-trick but I'm happy with two as well.

"The first one I just smashed past the keeper and for the second one Bryan made a good cross and I was in the right place.

"I don't know (why he chipped the penalty). I just thought I was going to chip it whatever happens.

"There was punishment in the end because I missed it. But to be honest, I enjoyed things overall. We dominated over the 90 minutes and it was good to play.

"It's not the only game. There are plenty more and I hope I can score a hat-trick in another game."

QPR assistant boss Kevin Bond would not confirm or deny after the match that the R's were interested in Jelavic.

But he said new strikers were certainly on the club's transfer agenda, admitting there has been a considerable weight of responsibility this term placed on the shoulders of Charlie Austin, their top scorer with 12 goals in all competitions.

"We have one or two injury issues with our strikers and we have been very heavily reliant on Charlie Austin," Bond said.

"He missed a couple of games recently and we were a bit wary of playing him (against Everton) to be honest.

"He is only just back after his hamstring injury - he played on New Year's Day and then we put him in again."


PA

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