Phil Jagielka is hoping to retake his place in Everton's line-up this coming weekend when Everton face Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League.
The veteran defender has missed almost a month of action after picking up a hamstring problem and that has left Ronald Koeman short-handed at the back, particularly given that Michael Keane was also recently sidelined with a foot injury.
Jagielka is fit again now, though, and he wants to be at the heart of the Blues' attempts to turn their form around following an increasingly disappointing start to 2017-18. Everton have won just two of their first seven Premier League games, have yet to win in the group stages of the Europa League, and face a daunting task at Stamford Bridge towards the end of the month as they look to progress to the fifth round of the League Cup.
“The injury is all good now,” Jagielka says on evertonfc.com. “The Burnley game came a day or two too early, but with the international break, hopefully training will go well and I will be pushing for selection.”
Should he return to the starting XI, Jagielka would take the captain's armband off Leighton Baines who has also been at the club for a decade now.
“[It] is always the case [that the experienced players need to lead by example],”Jagielka continued. “Leighton has taken that onto the pitch in the past few games.
“He has been one of our best players and shown the way forward. That is all you can do. We all try to help motivate each other off the pitch but when the game starts it is all about doing the right things.
“It is a massive role for the captain, vice-captain and experienced players: to go out there and show that leadership through our performances.
“And, hopefully, once we get back from the international break we will put together a decent run and everyone will forget about the sticky start we have had.”