Jagielka fears Champions League push could be derailed by Everton striker shortage
A dominant but ultimately toothless Everton left White Hart Lane empty handed after Emmanuel Adebayor scored with Tottenham’s first and only shot on target. While a defensive catalogue of errors gave Spurs the crucial win, it is the lack of firepower worrying Phil Jagielka.
The Everton captain bemoaned his teams lack of cutting edge as the Toffees failed to convert a host of chances in a dominant first half display. He said: “We’re struggling a little bit at the moment. Lacina is not quite right yet and it’s difficult because although we played some good stuff we were perhaps missing that fox in the box or target man to get us the goal.
It’s frustrating and at the least we should probably have kept a clean sheet and come away with 0-0 but we didn’t.
It’s going to be a little bit harder for us now, there are other teams in the mix for fourth.
If we’d beat Spurs we’d have pushed on a little bit, but there’s still 13 games left and a lot of points to play for.
A lot of teams are trying to get as many points as they can for one reason or another and we’ve got a lot of hard games too. We’ve got a tough one coming up against Palace.”
Despite being named on the bench new loan striker Lacina Traore failed to make his Everton debut, and with fellow loanee Romelu Lukaku expected to be out of action for at least another two weeks, Arouna Kone out long term and having seen Nickica Jelavic offloaded to Hull City in January, the Everton captain saw his concerns become reality in the disappointing White Hart Lane defeat.
Adding insult to injury was the calamitous defending that allowed Spurs to take all three points with their one and only strike on target.
“We had the better chances on the day but we were so frustrated with the goal,” said Jagielka.
“It looks as if Ossie was fouled before it and then everything happened so quickly and it was a case of was he or wasn’t he onside?
“It was a great finish though and you can’t take that away from Adebayor. We didn’t take our own chances and we were punished for it.”
The Everton captain and supporters alike will be hoping big striker Traore has fully recovered from a hamstring injury to lead the line on Wednesday night as Everton welcome Crystal Palace to Goodison Park.