Phil Jagielka says Everton must improve this aspect of their game


The centre-back admits that he has been 'flabbergasted' by some of the goals that the Toffees have conceded this season.

Everton centre-back Phil Jagielka has admitted to the Liverpool Echo that he has barely been able to believe how poor Roberto Martinez's side have been in defence at times throughout the season and has insisted that the club must rectify their issues at the back.

Only Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City have scored more Premier League goals than the Toffees this season, but the Merseyside club's poor defensive record sees them down in 11th in the table with just eight league wins from 26 matches.

Ahead of the FA Cup fifth-round trip to Bournemouth at the weekend, Jagielka accepted that the performances from himself and his fellow defenders have simply not been good enough.

He told the Echo: "It is tough for us all to take, especially for the defenders. When you look back at some of the goals we have conceded, some of them could’ve been prevented but some have just been unlucky.

"We’ve given away too many penalties but you look at some and you are flabbergasted, thinking ‘how’s that happened?’ Look at the record we’ve had in previous years and it has been frustrating.

"We are desperate to get [the fans] on our side but the only way we can is by going on a run of four or five games, winning and keeping clean sheets. We have been attractive and easy on the eye going forward so it’s finding the balance - but that is what you need if you are going to be a top Premier League team."

Last season was the first in nearly a decade that Everton did not finish in the top half of the Premier League table, but though they are in the bottom half as things stand, they are just six points off Manchester United in fifth.

They had been showing signs of defensive improvement in recent weeks, recording three consecutive clean sheets in all competitions, before losing 1-0 at home to West Bromwich Albion last weekend.

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