Phil Jagielka urges Ross Barkley to be Everton’s hero in derby clash

The England international has stated that the Toffees midfielder can be the difference between the sides at Goodison Park.

Everton defender Phil Jagielka has stated that supremely gifted attacking midfielder Ross Barkley can be the Toffees’ hero against Liverpool in the Merseyside derby this weekend, as reported by The Telegraph.

The local rivals meet on Sunday at Goodison Park, with the hosts ahead of the Reds in the Premier League standings and entering the game as favourites in most people’s books.

With mounting pressure on visiting manager Brendan Rodgers and the Anfield outfit looking nowhere near their best this term, the Everton fans will view the game as an excellent choice to strike a hammer blow in their rivals’ campaign.

Jagielka has picked out his Everton and England team-mate Barkley as a potential match-winner in the highly anticipated clash and stated that the homegrown hero can be the local superstar in the fixture now that Steven Gerrard no longer steps out for Liverpool.

“These are the sort of games that can pump you up to that level,” the veteran defender told The Telegraph.

“Being a local lad and having that label now that Stevie is not there – hopefully Ross can carry the weight of that expectation from the Evertonians and be a bit of a hero and a superstar.

“He has close friends who I am sure are Everton fans but there will be the odd Liverpool fan as well who provide a bit of needle.

“We’re delighted that Ross looks like he is in some decent form. He looks like he has developed from a boy to a man now.”

Barkley has been in irrepressible form this season for Roberto Martinez’s men and will be one of the chief protagonists in the hosts’ attempts at getting a morale-boosting win over their fierce rivals tomorrow.

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