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David Moyes: We"re contenders in the race for Champions League after Stoke victory

We're contenders in the race for Champions League, insists Moyes with rivals firmly in his sights after victory over Stoke

By
Carl Markham, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

21:02 GMT, 30 March 2013

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UPDATED:

21:03 GMT, 30 March 2013

Everton manager David Moyes believes his side are still well in the reckoning for Champions League qualification after a 1-0 victory at home to Stoke.

The match was decided by Kevin Mirallas' scintillating 70-yard run and finish in the first half and built on the morale-boosting win over champions Manchester City a fortnight ago.

It lifted the Toffees to within four points of fourth-placed Chelsea and, with Tottenham in third to play next week, there is further opportunity to put a dent in their rivals' chances.

Form: David Moyes' side recorded their third straight league win on Saturday

Form: David Moyes' side recorded their third straight league win on Saturday

'I am nearly as pleased with that result as I was with the one against Manchester City a fortnight ago,' said Moyes, whose side had not beaten the Potters since October 2010.

'We have not got a great record against Stoke so it was great to get over the line.

'It is great that we are going into April and people are still talking about Everton having a chance of a Champions League spot.

'Okay, it is a big call and a long way away but we are in with a chance and what we will try to do is finish as high up the table as we can.

'We believe we are in there. I don't think we have ever been out of it.

Stunning: Kevin Mirallas ran 70 yards before slotting the ball past Asmir Begovic to give Everton the lead

Stunning: Kevin Mirallas ran 70 yards before slotting the ball past Asmir Begovic to give Everton the lead

Congratulations: Mirallas celebrates his wonder goal with team-mate Victor Anichebe

Congratulations: Mirallas celebrates his wonder goal with team-mate Victor Anichebe

'We are hanging in there and are underdogs in terms of getting it, but we have those teams to play and we will go and give it a go.

'We have been close all season, we have matched most teams this year so we will try to do it again.
“Spurs are in a much stronger and healthier position than us, but we have been there or thereabouts most of the season and we'll not be too far away.'

Moyes was grateful to Mirallas' sixth goal of the season, but only his third in the league, for securing the three points.

'It was a great individual goal,' added the Scot.

Sublime: Kevin Mirallas (centre) was praised after his 'great goal secured all three points for the Toffees

Sublime: Kevin Mirallas (centre) was praised after his 'great goal secured all three points for the Toffees

'Sometimes against Stoke that is what you need, an individual who can take on people and thankfully he did it from about 70 yards out.'

Stoke have now won just once in 12 league matches and are only four points above the relegation zone despite their 13th-place position.

'I thought the last two away games, Newcastle and here, we have deserved something out of the game and it is just disappointing,' he said.

'You can't fault the players' commitment. I thought we played some good football at times and I don't think the players get the credit for the football we do play.

'We had chances but the disappointing thing is we haven't put them in the back of the net.

'I have been managing for a long time. I know for a fact, in our fifth year in the Premier League, our performances have been much better than the previous four years away from home but we haven't got the results.

'It has been that sort of season for us where we've been closer to winning games and being in games than we have before.

'What we need more than anything is a break – or to play badly and win a game.'

Reading owner"s wife: Katsia Zingarevich royal beauty perks up club"s relegation scrap

Reading's striking options: Royals owner's wife in bid to help ailing club beat the drop

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

15:22 GMT, 1 March 2013

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UPDATED:

15:52 GMT, 1 March 2013

Second-bottom of the Barclays Premier League, having being thumped 3-0 at home to Wigan last week, Reading can be forgiven for seeking inspiration from any source possible. And, it seems the owner’s wife is rallying behind the Royals' bid for survival.

Belarusian bombshell Katsia Zingarevich, wife of Reading owner Anton, is desperate for the Royals to win three points against Everton tomorrow — at least according to the lingerie brand Intimissimi she endorses.

Mrs Zingarevich earned the title of Ford’s Supermodel of the World back in 2006, the same year Reading were first promoted to the Barclays Premier League, so perhaps that’s a good omen.

Royal beauty: Katsia, wife of owner Anton Zingarevich, is desperate to see Reading remain in the top flight

Royal beauty: Katsia, wife of owner Anton Zingarevich, is desperate to see Reading remain in the top flight

Other half: Reading owner Anton Zingarevich looks on before last season's Championship match against Leeds

Other half: Reading owner Anton Zingarevich looks on before last season's Championship match against Leeds

Bottom half of the Barclays Premier League table

Bottom half of the Barclays Premier League table

It will be an odd afternoon for Reading
midfielder Hope Akpan, who admits he will get a buzz from facing his
boyhood club again.

The 21-year-old joined the Toffees as an eight-year-old and remained at Goodison Park until a move to Crawley in 2011.

He then penned a deal with Reading in the recent January transfer window and will go back to face his boyhood club this weekend.

'Going
back to where I started my career from a young age is going to be
exciting, definitely, but I’m a Reading player now and I want to do well
for Reading,' he said.

'At the end of the day it is just another game so I’ve got to go out with the same mentality as I do every time I play.

Katsia

katsia

Katsia

Excited: Hope Akpan (right) says he will get a buzz from facing boyhood club Everton

Excited: Hope Akpan (right) says he will get a buzz from facing boyhood club Everton

'It is a massive game for Reading Football Club because, in the position we are, we need to get out of there and we need the points more than anything so I will put everything to one side and concentrate on getting a result for Reading.”

Reading lost 3-0 at home to fellow strugglers Wigan last weekend to fall back into the relegation places in the Premier League.

But Akpan claims the players are not letting the defeat play on their minds and believes a positive result at Everton is achievable.

'After a result like we had on Saturday I think we just need to let it go,' he said.

'It was a bad day for the players and the club, we’ve moved on now and are ready for the game on Saturday.

'Every
game you go into you have to believe that you can get the points from
the game. Everton are a strong team throughout the entire squad but we
have to make sure we implement ourselves on them.”

Brian
McDermott’s Reading side picked up their first win of the season
against Everton in November and a decent run of form after Christmas saw
the Berkshire club push towards top-flight safety.

In it together: Akpan is aiming to help Reading get back on track after being pulled back into a relegation scrap

In it together: Akpan is aiming to help Reading get back on track after being pulled back into a relegation scrap

Praise: Akpan said he enjoys playing under Reading gaffer Brian McDermott

Praise: Akpan said he enjoys playing under Reading gaffer Brian McDermott

The loss to Wigan has pulled Reading right back into the relegation battle but Akpan is enjoying playing under McDermott and is targeting a result on Saturday before a clash at home to Aston Villa the following week.

'We built a good momentum a couple of weeks back and got some good results back-to-back,' he said.

'That is the way to pick up points so hopefully we can get a result here and then go into the Villa game.

'He is a great guy, the gaffer. He gets his point across well and the things he has told me to do I have tried to implement them in the games so it has been really good.'

David Moyes to discuss Everton future at end of season

Moyes puts Everton contract talks on hold to open the door to Chelsea job

By
Dominic King

PUBLISHED:

11:57 GMT, 15 February 2013

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UPDATED:

21:54 GMT, 15 February 2013

David Moyes has pushed his contract talks back to prevent anything distracting Everton’s bid to qualify for Europe.

The Everton manager has four months left on his current deal and had
indicated he would discuss his future with chairman Bill Kenwright once
the January transfer window had closed, but those talks have been
delayed until the end of the season.

On ice: David Moyes will wait until the end of the season before discussing his future at Everton

On ice: David Moyes will wait until the end of the season before discussing his future at Everton

Moyes, who earlier this season hinted of his desire to one day test
himself as a coach in Europe, has made it clear all along that decisions
on whether he extends his 11-year tenure at Goodison Park will not be
based on personal reward.

He wants to see whether Everton can keep progressing as a club by returning to Europe for the first time since 2009 and his latest comments are sure to alert Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

‘I’ve had a chat with Bill but my
main reason (for delaying) is I want to see how the team do,’ said
Moyes. ‘I want to see if we’ve got a realistic chance of getting in
Europe, or if we can get to a cup final. I want to see how well we
progress and what we do. I think that’s fair for the club as well.

‘I’m straight with Bill and I tell
him my thoughts. I want it to be purely football now until the end of
the season. I don’t want anything to get in the way and I would hate to
think anything to do with me would. So because of that I’m saying I’ll
be looking to see it in the summer.

Bouncing back: Robin van Persie (right) scored Manchester United's second against Everton

Bouncing back: Robin van Persie (right) scored Manchester United's second against Everton

Powerless: Everton's star man Marouane Fellaini could not prevent the Toffees losing 2-0

Powerless: Everton's star man Marouane Fellaini could not prevent the Toffees losing 2-0

‘I want to try and get Everton back into Europe. If I can get into a final, I’ll do that too.

‘But I don’t think I need anything
else at the moment to get in the way. The work (here) continues as I
have to make sure what I’m doing is for the future. We’re always looking
at next year and moving on.’

Everton are hot favourites to reach
the quarter-finals but Moyes is no stranger to being the victim of a
giantkilling – one of his most uncomfortable days at Goodison Park was
when Oldham won a third round tie in 2008 – and he is leaving no stone
unturned in his preparations for the trip to Boundary Park.

Moyes said: 'We know what they can do
got. They got a great result against Liverpool in the last round. We
have been knocked by Shrewsbury and Oldham in the past and we don't want
it to happen again.

'They have got Tony Philliskirk and Paul Gerrard
looking after things but I'm sure Oldham will have roughly the same
players that beat Liverpool.

'I think qualifying for the Champions
League would have the bigger impact because of the financial rewards.
If you can get into group stages, look at what has happened to Celtic in
the last six months.

'Obviously we want to win every
competition we enter but qualifying for the Champions League would
change things more for us than winning the FA Cup.'

Eyes on the prize: Moyes will hope to navigate past Oldham's Matt Smith (left) and caretaker manager Tony Philliskirk, pictured with the Budweiser FA Cup

Eyes on the prize: Moyes will hope to navigate past Oldham's Matt Smith (left) and caretaker manager Tony Philliskirk, pictured with the Budweiser FA Cup

Everton will come up against Jose
Baxter, who left the club last summer. He made history at Goodison when
becoming the youngest player – at 16years and 191 days – to represent
the club in August 2008.

'I'm delighted for Jose,' said Moyes.

'We offered him a contract, gave him
his debut at 16. It's hard for them at that age, as they can get to 19
and 20 and people are wondering where they have gone.

'But he is doing well. I am glad. It was a brave decision to leave but hopefully he will see it as the right move.'

Delighted: Moyes said he was glad to see former Everton man Jose Baxter thriving at Oldham

Delighted: Moyes said he was glad to see former Everton man Jose Baxter thriving at Oldham

New Year 2013: Chelsea defender David Luiz sends message

Happy New Year! Chelsea's David Luiz gets his 2013 party started early

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UPDATED:

22:08 GMT, 31 December 2012

David Luiz celebrated the new year (and maybe being in Neil Ashton's London team of 2012!) with some big balloons and a message to his fans.

The Chelsea centre-back and, of late, rampaging midfielder, took this photograph to welcome in 2013 in his usual exuberant and charismatic fashion.

Luiz has plenty to be pleased about after Chelsea overturned Everton at Goodison Park.

Happy new year: David Luiz had a message for his fans

Happy new year: David Luiz had a message for his fans

The Toffees took the lead almost immediately but Luiz's enthusiastic display in the middle of the park helped the Blues bite back.

A Frank Lampard double earned Chelsea three points and now they are preparing to face west London rivals Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday night.

Dynamic: Luiz put out fires all over the field against Everton in his robust fashion

Dynamic: Luiz put out fires all over the field against Everton in his robust fashion

John Obi Mikel missed Sunday's match
with a knee problem and with Oriol Romeu sidelined for several months,
Luiz seems set to keep his birth alongside Lampard.

He
relishes going forward from the midfield and although he still has
important defensive duties to fulfill, has far more freedom than when
playing at centre-back.

Since arriving at Stamford Bridge, Rafael Benitez has believed the title is still within Chelsea's grasp.

The Blues are third, 11 points behind leaders Manchester United, although they have a game in hand.

Frank Lampard: Chelsea future is up in the air

Lampard refuses to commit to Chelsea despite double against Everton

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UPDATED:

16:21 GMT, 30 December 2012

Frank Lampard may be on his way out of Chelsea but after Sunday’s performance away to Everton, he will leave in a blaze of glory.

The England midfielder, who scored twice to end Everton’s record of being unbeaten at Goodison Park all season, gave a strong indication he could move in the January window.

When asked what the new year would hold for him, Lampard said: ‘I just hope personally for me, it means I will be playing in a winning team.

Parting gift Frank Lampard scored twice against Everton at Goodison

Parting gift Frank Lampard scored twice against Everton at Goodison

‘I will keep trying to give my best as I’ve always done when here and will continue to do so.

‘I know there’s a lot of speculation and talk, but for me the enjoyable bit is the 90 minutes like I’ve just played, there.’

Lampard is free to talk to overseas clubs from January 1 with his contract six months from expiry, and Chelsea could be tempted to cash in instead of letting the midfielder’s contract run down.

Manchester United are said to be keeping tabs on the 34-year old’s situation.

Chelsea have now won 10 of the 11 games Lampard has played in, and only one of the eight he’s not featured in the squad for.

Surprisingly despite this, owner Roman Abramovich still does not appear interested in negotiating a new deal.

Head boy: Lampard spearheaded Chelsea's comeback against the Toffees

Head boy: Lampard spearheaded Chelsea's comeback against the Toffees

Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez was giving nothing away over Lampard's future.

'I am really pleased with the team, credit to Frank for the goals,' the Spaniard said.

'Frank is under contract, doing well, fully committed. My job is to keep him fit.'

Asked if he knew anything about reports club officials are due to hold talks with Newcastle striker Demba Ba, he added: 'No, because we don't talk about this business, we had a very important game today.'

Phil Neville plays 500th Premier League game

History boy Neville joins Premier League 500 club as Everton skipper faces Wigan

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UPDATED:

16:07 GMT, 26 December 2012

Phil Neville made history on Boxing Day when he became only the seventh player to make 500 appearances in the Premier League.

The Everton captain’s landmark could have come sooner were it not for surgery to correct a knee problem in November.

He wasn’t going to allow for any further delays. The club advised that Neville, who turns 36 next month, would be sidelined for up to eight weeks following his operation.

500 not out: Everton captain Phil Neville (right) in action against Wigan on Boxing Day

500 not out: Everton captain Phil Neville (right) in action against Wigan on Boxing Day

Fergie's fledgling: Phil Neville was at United from 1995

Fergie's fledgling: Phil Neville was at United from 1995

End/start: Neville left Manchester United in 2005

End/start: Neville left Manchester United in 2005

Skipper: He has led Everton with distinction since 2007

Skipper: He has led Everton with distinction since 2007

NEVILLE IN NUMBERS

19: Seasons in the Premier League… 11 at United and eight at Everton

3: Red cards 82: Yellow cards 9: Goals scored
263: Matches for United 444: starts

MILESTONES

First game: United v Manchester City (February 11, 1995)

100th: United v Middlesbrough (May 9, 1999)

200th: United v Southampton (November 2, 2002)

300th: Everton v Tottenham (August 26, 2006)

400th: Everton v Aston Villa (April 12, 2009)

TOP 10 IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE

Ryan Giggs 607
David James 572
Gary Speed 535
Frank Lampard 531
Emile Heskey 516
Sol Campbell 503
PHIL NEVILLE 499
Paul Scholes 495
Jamie Carragher 491
Mark Schwarzer 486
*Brother Gary played 400

But the warrior player reported fit for duty against West Ham on Saturday, after just 36 days.

Fondly sometimes known as the quieter brother to Mail on Sunday
columnist Gary, Neville left Manchester United in 2005 – and Toffees
boss David Moyes has more than banked the value of his 3.5million
signing.

This achievement, by its nature,
intimates his best days are behind him. But Neville’s open-minded and
modest approach to his game is shown in the way he is constantly
striving to improve, a credit to footballers of all generations.

And as Moyes observes, it’s a quality he has had throughout his career.

‘People would be amazed by the amount of work and conditioning Phil has put in to get himself right,’ said Moyes.

‘He continually works hard. He is in
every morning at 8.30am, he doesn’t leave until late. The rehabilitation
work he puts himself through — never at any stage does he complain.

‘He just continually pushed himself
to try and get back. The biggest impact that it should have on everyone
is the manner of what he has done.’

In a sparkling career stretching over 19 years, the defender has won virtually every honour in the game.

With six Premier League titles, a
three-time holder of both the FA Cup and Charity Shield and the 1999
Champions League trophy and Intercontinental Cup in the same year, the
titles which have eluded him are of little concern.

Better together: His relationship with David Moyes has helped Everton thrive

Better together: His relationship with David Moyes has helped Everton thrive

In fact, Neville’s illustrious,
10-year spell with Manchester United can account for both the silverware
and his flawless attitude.

Moyes added: ‘It says a lot about
what he’s done. But it doesn’t surprise me because his mentality and his
attitude to the game have been great since he came from Manchester
United.'

Neville has six months remaining on his current contract but there are no clues as to where, or when he career may end.

Pedigree: The midfielder has played for England 59 times, though not since 2007

Pedigree: The midfielder has played for England 59 times, though not since 2007

‘He’s been a great signing,’ Moyes
said. ‘The best person to talk about (the future) is Phil because I’ve
already spoken to him and he just wants to see how his body is.

‘He's just back from a knee operation
and he would be the first one to say that we should just see how his
knee is. I don’t think he sees any great panic in it at this moment in
time.’

While Neville has always wanted to
lift a crown with Everton as a team, this great individual record will
certainly shine on as a highlight.

SPORTSMAIL'S FIVE FAVOURITE NEVILLE MOMENTS
Phil Neville's Manchester United debut v Manchester City (February 11, 1995)

Manchester United debut v Manchester City (February 11, 1995)

Neville played at right back (right) in the fabled defence that included Bruce, Pallister and Schmeichel, as Paul Ince, Andrei Kanchelskis and Andy Cole secured a 3-0 win.

Setting up Eric Cantona at St James’ Park (March 4, 1996)

His surge down the left flank and cross for Cantona led to United beating Newcastle 1-0 and the victory gave Ferguson’s side the impetus to go on to win the Premier League title. It was the first of Neville’s six gongs.

Winning goal at Chelsea (February 28, 1998)

Neville has only scored nine goals in his 499 appearances to date but this, in a 1-0 victory, was the pick of the bunch, a bending right-foot effort that gave Dmitri Kharine no chance.

Everton debut v Manchester United (August 13, 2005)

If there were any doubts Neville would
struggle to adjust to life after Old Trafford, they were banished in
his first Everton game. Everton may have lost 2-0 but he was
outstanding.

Season-changing tackle on Cristiano Ronaldo (October 25, 2008)

Everton were in the doldrums when they
faced his old side, and losing 1-0, but a thundering challenge on
Ronaldo (below) altered the course of the game – Everton drew 1-1 – and sparked a
run that carried them to fifth.

Phil Neville's season-changing tackle on Cristiano Ronaldo (October 25, 2008)

David Moyes calls on referees to address grappling issue

Moyes calls on referees to clamp down on penalty area grappling issue

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UPDATED:

11:49 GMT, 21 December 2012

Everton manager David Moyes has called on referees to make their mind up on grappling in the area and to remain consistent on the issue.

Moyes said: 'It's not part of the game. But the only people who can stop it are the referees. If they think that it is OK, then they have got to tell us.'

Midfielder Marouane Fellaini is facing a fine of up to 150,000 after David Moyes confirmed Everton will not be contesting his three-match ban.

Stamp it out: Moyes has called for referees to take action

Stamp it out: Moyes has called for referees to take action

The Belgian midfielder was found guilty of violent conduct by the Football Association yesterday after they took retrospective action following his head-butt on Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross.

Fellaini, however, can consider himself fortunate that he is not facing an even greater suspension as referee Mark Halsey confirmed he saw two other clashes between the 25-year-old and Shawcross during the 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium.

The Toffees have also thrown their support behind the Hillsborough charity single which is on course to become Christmas No 1.

The single has been released to raise funds for the families of the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives in the disaster in April 1989.

Heads up: Fellaini has been charged by the FA over his clash with Shawcross

Heads up: Fellaini has been charged by the FA over his clash with Shawcross

Moyes said: 'It's great news for the families. When I heard the news a couple of months ago, I was outraged that the police would do that and fabricate the evidence. I’m delighted for the families.

'But (for the song) I think some credit should go to Bill Kenwright. On the night (of the Newcastle game) he was wondering whether to play “walk on” but in the end he decided for 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother'.

He felt that was more fitting. It should not go amiss that he chose the song. Let's hope that it raises some (significant) money for the families.'

Model pro Fellaini was recently handed the player of the month award

Model pro Fellaini was recently handed the player of the month award

Phil Neville ready to return for Everton three weeks early

Everton boost as captain Neville stays on course for return three weeks early

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UPDATED:

23:08 GMT, 18 December 2012

Phil Neville is in contention to return to Everton's starting line-up this weekend three weeks ahead of schedule following a knee operation.

The Toffees captain underwent surgery to clean up his knee 33 days ago and it was initially feared he would be out for eight weeks.

However, his rehabilitation has gone so well that manager David Moyes is considering starting him against West Ham on Saturday. Neville's return would offset the loss of the suspended Marouane Fellaini.

Fitness fight: Phil Neville could return to action ahead of schedule from surgery

Fitness fight: Phil Neville could return to action ahead of schedule from surgery

Maroune Fellaini wanted by Everton

He's the Fella-ini for us! Chelsea target 20m raid for Everton midfielder

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UPDATED:

14:53 GMT, 17 December 2012

Chelsea are planning a 20million raid for Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini when the January transfer window opens.

Fellaini has been one of the Barclays Premier League success stories this season afetr a run of eight goals in 16 appearances for the Toffees this season.

Wanted man: The Everton midfielder is being tracked by Chelsea

Wanted man: The Everton midfielder is being tracked by Chelsea

But he hit the headlines at the weekend after head-butting Stoke's Ryan Shawcross in an off-the-ball incident at the Britannia Stadium.

This has not deterred the Blues who want the Belgium international to shore-up their midfield, according to the Evening Standard.

Head boy: Fellaini has landed himself in hot water over this incident

Head boy: Fellaini has landed himself in hot water over this incident

Fellaini signed a new five-year deal at Goodison Park a year ago, but could be tempted away by an offers from Stamford Bridge.

The 25-year-old joins Radamel Falcao and Theo Walcott on the Roman Abramovich's shopping list to ensure the club's already faltering season doesn't totally collapse.

Phil Jagielka says Darron Gibson can be key for Everton

Jagielka backs ever-improving Gibson to become key man for Everton

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UPDATED:

00:31 GMT, 11 December 2012

Phil Jagielka has hailed the growing influence of Darron Gibson and tipped him to emerge as the driving force behind Everton’s assault on the top four.

The Republic of Ireland midfielder was outstanding in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Tottenham, his range of passing and probing kept Everton on the front foot from the start; it was Gibson late cross that led to Nikica Jelavic pilfering the stoppage time winner.

Gibson has only just returned from three months out with a serious thigh problem but his presence in the team in the last three matches against Tottenham, Manchester City and Arsenal has been noticeable, as his repetoire of passing has given Everton's play a different dimension.

Important: Phil Jagielka says Darron Gibson (right) is key for the Toffees' Premier League hopes

Important: Phil Jagielka says Darron Gibson (right) is key for the Toffees' Premier League hopes

Jelavic and Marouane Fellaini may have received most plaudits during Everton’s encouraging start to the campaign but Jagielka believes Gibson, who was signed from Manchester United last January in a deal that could eventually cost 2million, will prove himself to be just as crucial in the long run.

‘Gibbo is massively important, said Jagielka. ‘For us to have someone who can keep the opposing defence on their toes purely knowing if he does get a bit of time, he can be like our quarterback and start putting in some fantastic passes.

‘It makes playing against us a lot harder when we have people like Darron in the team and Leon Osman by the side of him. They are two different footballers but equally as important. Ossie is good in tight spaces and finding the little passes, while Gibbo is such a good passer and has a great range.’

Gibson has been something of a lucky charm for Everton as in the 21 appearances he has made since leaving Old Trafford he has only featured on a losing side twice – in April’s FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool and at West Brom in September.

‘Maybe Gibbo hasn’t scored that many since he has been here; he’s not a dribbler and not what you’d describe as ‘Fancy Dan’ sort of player,’ said the England international.

Praise: The England defender (right) has kind words for his team-mate

Praise: The England defender (right) has kind words for his team-mate

‘But if you filmed his role in the team and watched it back there’d be some fantastic passes, great tackles and some clever football. He came from a great club in Manchester United. He proves that way with the time he finds on the ball and the confidence he has to play those long range passes.’

Keeping Gibson fit will be crucial to Everton’s ambitions but there is also a sense they have genuine momentum and, like his manager David Moyes, Jagielka feels the impetus from the late rally against Tottenham could have a huge impact on what they are aiming to achieve.

‘It was desperately important for us to pick up three points if we want to have as successful season as we are hoping for,’ said Jagielka, who has been captaining Everton in the absence of the injured Phil Neville.

Dynamic: Jagielka said Gibson makes fine passes and is a strong tackler too

Dynamic: Jagielka said Gibson makes fine passes and is a strong tackler too

‘It keeps us up there and maintains this decent start that everyone is talking about.

‘It wasn’t make or break but when we come back to looking at the points tally and the way the season has gone, this could be a game where we started turning draws into wins and gave ourselves a real boost.

‘We have a really tough game coming up against Stoke and to have lost against Spurs would have put a hell of a lot of pressure on that game to come out with three points. But now we can go there and anything positive will be a good result.’