Phil Jagielka insists Everton can continue to prosper following David Moyes' decision to leave for Manchester United.
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Moyes was confirmed as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor on Thursday, and will take up the post on July 1, having agreed a six-year contract.
Jagielka, 30, has been a key part of Moyes' Everton side since arriving from Sheffield United in 2007, and was recently named club captain, replacing Phil Neville, who will also leave at the end of the season.
The centre-back is aware that the next manager at Goodison Park has a huge act to follow. Moyes has guaranteed that the club will finish in the Premier League's top eight for the seventh successive season – they lie sixth with two games to go – despite one of the lowest net transfer spends in the division.
He will remain in charge for Everton's final two Premier League games – at home to West Ham on Sunday and away at Chelsea on May 19 – before ending his 11-year reign.
Jagielka told Everton's website www.evertonfc.com: "Like the rest of the squad, I have nothing but the highest regard for David Moyes.
"He is a first-class operator on and off the training ground and on behalf of the players I would like to place on record my thanks for the work he has done improving the team.
"It was as much of a shock to the dressing room as I'm sure it was to Everton and our fans.
"All the lads wish him the very best for the future but we still have two important Premier League games to play and all our attentions will be focused on winning against West Ham and at Chelsea.
"Once the season is over, we can collectively look forward in order to ensure we continue to build on the positive work of the past few seasons."