Everton defender Phil Jagielka wants more clean sheets

The Everton captain is keen for his side to continue their new-found defensive solidity against Chelsea.

Everton captain Phil Jagielka has told the club’s official site that he wants more clean sheets.

The Blues have three clean sheets in a row having shut out West Brom, Crystal Palace and then Liverpool in the Merseyside derby last weekend.

That new defensive solidity comes after Everton seemed to have lost that trait of their play earlier in the season, with them close to conceding the same amount of goals already as they did during the entirety of last season.

Their recent defensive record will be tested against Chelsea on Wednesday though, and despite top scorer Diego Costa being suspended, the Blues still face a tougher evaluation from the Premier League leaders.

“We have been talking about keeping clean sheets for a while and it’s nice to get a few back-to-back,” Jagielka told Evertontv.

“Obviously it would have been nice to get a few more goals but as part of the defensive unit we are delighted to have kept them. We have cut out silly mistakes, we’ve got people back fit and we’ve looked a lot more solid.”

The return of Everton’s defensive strength has coincided with the return of youngster John Stones into the heart of the defence, with him having missed a large period following an injury against Manchester United.

Stones is highly regarded by the fan base, and manager Roberto Martinez, and his captain have also been impressed by the way he has become such a trusted figure despite only playing 40 games for the club.

“He is a great lad and more importantly a really good footballer,” he added.

“He’s come in, done a great job and it’s a pleasure to play alongside him. He is quite unflappable and sometimes that’s a good thing as a centre half, sometimes not so good! At the moment he is doing things in the right areas, defending when he needs to defend and being composed.”

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