sport

Squad depth pleases Jagielka

Captain Phil Jagielka believes the strength in depth of Everton's squad is a key factor in their challenge for a top four place this season.

The Toffees moved up to fourth in the Premier League table with a 2-0 home victory over Norwich on Saturday thanks to spectacular strikes from Gareth Barry and Kevin Mirallas.

Roberto Martinez's side saw off the Canaries at Goodison Park despite being without a number of players, with midfielder Ross Barkley the latest to be sidelined due to a toe injury.

Jagielka, who was returning to action himself after missing three matches with a hamstring problem, told Sky Sports News: "It was a tough game especially the last part of the second half.

"We had to sort of hang in there and work that little bit harder for a clean sheet but they were two fantastic goals for us and it's nice to walk away with three points.

"It says a lot about the squad if you think of the players that haven't been available and weren't available today - we still had a pretty decent looking bench as well - so the squad is decent in numbers.

"Hopefully we get a few of those boys back as quick as possible and it's going to be an interesting end to the season."

Jagielka is now hoping Everton can maintain their form in the second half of the campaign and secure a Champions League place for next season.

The England international defender added: "We are in with a chance. Quite a few of the teams around us have won again which seems to be the way the league is going at the moment.

"But it's up to us to keep ourselves in the mix as long as possible and with wins like this and a decent performance we are still in the mix.

"If we keep putting the performances in as a defensive unit, keep keeping clean sheets, and the lads keep scoring goals like they did today; then we are not going to be far off."