Scottish Premier League

Butcher not feeling the pressure

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Thu, 09 May 2013 17:38:00

Phil Jagielka has called on Everton to ensure that they kick on again this summer once David Moyes heads for Manchester United.

It has been a whirlwind 24 hours for all concerned at Goodison Park, with it announced on Thursday that Moyes is to succeed retiring Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

He has agreed a six-year contract with the Red Devils and will officially take their reins on 1st July.

Moyes will see out the 2012/13 campaign with Everton, with there still two games to come, and it is important for them to end the season as positively as possible.

The challenge facing the Toffees then will be to find a suitable replacement for Moyes and to continue to build on the positive foundations he has put in place over the last 11 years.

Jagielka is convinced they can do just that, telling Everton's official website: "Like the rest of the squad I have nothing but the highest regard for David Moyes.

"He is a first class operator on and off the training ground and on behalf of the players I would like to place on record my thanks for the work he has done improving the team.

"It was as much of a shock to the dressing room as I'm sure it was to Everton and our fans.

"All the lads wish him the very best for the future but we still have two important Premier League games to play and all our attentions will be focused on winning against West Ham and at Chelsea.

"Once the season is over we can collectively look forward in order to ensure we continue to build on the positive work of the past few seasons."

Third-placed Caley Thistle are looking to remain in pole position for a Europa League spot when they host United on Saturday and could wrap up their first European qualification if St Johnstone lose at Celtic Park earlier on.

Butcher has overseen a dramatic change in fortunes for a side which found themselves bottom of the table for a long spell during an injury crisis early last season.

And he believes his players will relish being in such a heady position in the penultimate match of the season, rather than fear the consequences of defeat.

Butcher, whose side edged a seven-goal thriller against Motherwell last weekend, said: "We have only lost three games at home this season - two to Celtic and one to Motherwell and they are the top two teams.

"It's been a remarkable run. If you look at last year we lost the first three home games. It's been a massive turnaround in fortune, style of play and attitude.

"This is not pressure, it's pleasure. It's pleasure being where we are and a pleasure winning, and hopefully we can replicate that on Saturday.

"The key thing for the players is to have no regrets - to go out and enjoy it, and win."

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