Everton star Phil Jagielka has admitted that he is desperate for success in the Europa League this season, especially as he feels time is running out for glory in cup competitions during his career, as reported by the Daily Mirror.
The Everton defender has just turned 32, and leads his side into their first European game since 2010, when they faced Sporting Lisbon, tonight. The club face Wolfsburg in the Europa League at Goodison Park.
Jagielka himself is very keen that the side are a success in the competition, having seen opportunities for European action dry up in recent seasons, until the arrival of Roberto Martinez.
He said: “England didn’t really compensate and it was a bit of frustration really because you want to win things and if you are not in a competition, it’s quite hard to win it.
“I’ve just turned 32, so the amount of times I’m going to get into cup competitions is drastically coming down, so for me, I’m desperate to win a cup, win two cups, win three cups. These are the competitions you go into.
“You tune into the latter stages of the Europa League and you see the teams involved, why would you not want to be one of those teams?”
The England international has also said that he does not fear the demands of Europa League football this season, as a result of the squad.
Furthermore, he has complete faith in Spanish manager Martinez to manage the squad well, to the extent that he doesn’t see the side suffering from burn out due to their continental excursions.
Jagielka added: “We don’t fear any sort of burn-out because we have full confidence in Roberto.
“We put a lot of faith in the manager picking the right team, using the squad as well as he can.
“The manager knew we were in the competition before the season started and has brought enough players in, and the right type of players, to deal with it.
“The easiest thing for us to do is keep performing to our level in the Premier League to keep us in this competition.
“If you can keep the squad to 25, and we are preparing for European football every season, it makes the manager’s job easier and it proves we can deal with the extra games.”