Jagielka happy to play waiting game

Everton defender Phil Jagielka has taken Wembley disappointment in his stride and is determined to fight for his place in the team.

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Despite starting the last two league matches, the 29-year-old was an unused substitute for the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Liverpool at the weekend as Sylvain Distin and John Heitinga were the preferred pair at the centre of defence.

But Jagielka, who was sidelined for two months in January because of a knee injury, will not sulk over being left out of the club's biggest match since the 2009 FA Cup final.

"If my role is to keep John and Sylvain playing as well as they can - or to give them a rest for a game - I'll do that," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"It's not ideal for me, but we are part of a team and a squad that want to do well."

One player who has no such concerns about his place in the side is Nikica Jelavic, whose goal at Wembley was his sixth since arriving from Rangers in January and his fifth in as many matches.

Former Everton midfielder and current Motherwell manager Stuart McCall has seen more than enough of the Croatia international to know he should be a success in England.

"He's probably good at everything - maybe not outstanding at one particular thing - but good in the air, he's got decent pace, his movement's excellent, he's got a good touch, he takes chances well and his all-round play is good," he told evertonfc.com.

"When you move clubs you want to hit the ground running and especially when you're a striker you want to score goals.

"He's done that and he's proved to be an astute signing. Hopefully, he'll go on next season, keep getting the level of goals he's getting and go on to become a good player for years to come.

"Jelavic is an all-round striker, he works hard for the team, he can look after the ball when it's played up to him, he can play the lone striking role, but he also links up well with another partner."



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