Phil Jagielka just happy to be back

27 February 2010 08:48

Phil Jagielka has spoken of his relief at returning to action after 10 months out with a knee injury.

Jagielka was obviously disappointed that Everton tumbled out of the Europa League in midweek, but he was still pleased to be back on the pitch.

Jagielka said: "The boys tried to make me feel part of the team and as much as we were beaten 3-0, I will look back on this game as the end of a long journey."

He added: "I went through 30-40 minutes pretty much pain free. The result hurt, but in that sense I am happy.

"It is exciting being back, I had a lot of good-luck texts but they don't seem to have worked.

"One thing I can say for the lads is that we are sick at the sight of Lisbon. We just want to concentrate on Tottenham (on Sunday) now."

Everton, who also lost to Sporting's neighbours Benfica in the campaign, still have an outside chance of appearing in the Europa League next season. And that is the target for Jagielka, who could yet work his way into Fabio Capello's England squad.

Following victories against Manchester United and Chelsea, he said: "Trying to get back into Europe is the only thing we can hold onto. We are out of all the cups now.

"All we can do is hope the big boys win the Carling Cup and the FA Cup and extend the places for the Europa League next year. We enjoy the occasions and I am sure the fans do.

"We've had a fantastic series of results in the Premier League and while we won't be aiming for a draw against Tottenham, it would give us a great tally of points in some difficult games."

Source: PA