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Mar 28, 2013

Jagielka: Everton not out for revenge

Everton defender Phil Jagielka insists there will be no bad feeling when Stoke City visit Goodison Park in the Premier League on Saturday.

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There was controversy in the corresponding fixture at the Britannia Stadium on December 15 when Marouane Fellaini headbutted Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross, leading to a three-match ban for the Belgium international.

Fellaini's actions went unpunished at the time by referee Mark Halsey, but the forward was later sanctioned by the Football Association after a review of television footage of the incident.

The Everton man will be absent on Saturday as he begins a two-match suspension imposed for collecting ten bookings, while Steven Pienaar is also banned following his sending off during the 2-0 win over Manchester City on March 16.

Jagielka, who is struggling to recover from an ankle injury in time for Saturday's match, insists that the Toffees' focus will be on their own game rather than on any kind of vengeance.

"Obviously we didn't enjoy the way it was when we played at Stoke," he told the Liverpool Echo. "I don't think we got any help from the officials at all. You can't condone what Felli did but in the build-up he was getting wrestled all the time. We won't look back at the game though because now we need to concentrate on being positive and getting the right results."

Everton go into Saturday's match lying sixth in the Premier League table, six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and two adrift of Arsenal in fifth. A top-four finish would bring qualification for the Champions League, while fifth spot would guarantee a place in next season's Europa League.

And Jagielka believes attacking football is the key to securing a place in Europe for David Moyes' side.

"We need to win games now. If we were to draw I'm not saying it would be the end of the season but we have to go out ultra-positive and really take it to teams and see how we go. It might make the manager's decision-making a little bit easier," he said. "The manager can be ultra-positive now and throw the shackles off."

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