Jagielka returns to Everton

BY foxsports • November 14, 2011

Phil Jagielka has been released from England duty and returned to Everton.

The Football Association confirmed the news and have been anxious to point out the defender did not suffer any further injury during Saturday's 1-0 win over Spain at Wembley.

Instead, Everton had already been informed Jagielka would return to the club once Saturday's game was over, providing there was no urgent need for him to stay.

It means the 29-year-old can rest the toe injury that has been plaguing him for some time ahead of his side's Premier League encounter with Wolves at Goodison Park on Saturday.

As Gabriel Agbonlahor left the squad after suffering a hamstring injury in training on Thursday, it means the remaining 23 players in Fabio Capello's squad are all expected to train at Arsenal's London Colney complex on Monday morning ahead of Tuesday's friendly with fellow Euro 2012 qualifiers Sweden.

Capello has already confirmed Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge will make his debut, with recalls for Bobby Zamora and Gary Cahill.

More notably, John Terry will assume the captain's armband for the first time since allegations that he racially abused QPR's Anton Ferdinand - which he strenuously denies - were aired last month.

Jagielka hopes he and long-time central defensive partner Joleon Lescott have strengthened their claims to be part of England's Euro 2012 squad.

He admitted: "You probably couldn't name the third, fourth or fifth choice (centre-back) in any order.

"That is what this game was about for myself and Joleon. We are trying to put thoughts into the manager's head to put us in the squad for the summer.

"I was desperate to play in this game. It was brilliant for the manager to pick us and even more special to get a clean sheet.

"If we get another chance, hopefully we can keep on performing quite well."

Lescott is now impressing at Manchester City but Jagielka admits they were quickly able to resume their partnership.

He said: "It was simple. We've known each other for so long.

"We've played together for a few years, we are good friends, so it makes life a lot easier when there is that much trust and knowing each other's game that well.

"It is really a tough challenge when you are up against Spain with the discipline and concentration required.

"I'd rather be playing at the back than in the midfield, having to run around all day after them.

"It is all about concentration. If you switch off for a minute, they can thread balls in through the eye of needle.

"You just need to make sure you fill the holes and trust everyone else has got their men (marked) and we proved we can defend with the best of them."

Jagielka insists his broken toe was no handicap although he confirmed he will play no part against Sweden.

He said: "I'm fit. There is nothing wrong with me other than I've got a little broken toe.

"It's nothing an injection won't take care of. Obviously it numbs the toe for a few hours and it will be a little bit sore for a while.

"Will I be there on Tuesday? I don't think so. That will be it now. There was an agreement with the club that they'd let me play against Spain which was brilliant.

"It was a small risk but one I was prepared to take.

"It will take four weeks to mend without playing but double with playing. I've got a few more weeks with injections yet.

"I get paid to play football so if I've got to have an injection to do so, it's simple."

Lescott admits he has grown in confidence during Manchester City's flying start to the season.

He said: "I would say it was my best performance for England. I would say so because of the opposition.

"They are world champions and, the way they play, they dictate most games.

"It was the ultimate test. They are the best team in the world for a reason and it showed with the football they play.

"If you play as a whole team, not just a back four, then we can contain them."

Lescott added: "It is massive playing for a team like City. We are winning games most weeks so my confidence is high and that can only help."
 


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