Jagielka aiming for Europa glory

13 September 2017 12:45:42 EST

Veteran Everton defender Phil Jagielka hopes to help his side follow the examples of Manchester United and Liverpool in the Europa League.

The Toffees, 12121/1 to win the competition, kick off their group stage campaign with a trip to Italy to take on Atalanta on Thursday, with Jagielka well aware of the magnitude of the prize at stake for the team who go all the way in the competition.

I think the manager is desperate to win something, as are the players.

Phil Jagielka

United did just that last season and ensured a return to the Champions League in the process, while Liverpool reached the final 12 months earlier, before being beaten by Sevilla.

England centre-back Jagielka told ESPN: "After seeing how United did, and Liverpool also got to the final the year before, I think it's a competition that we can target.

"United made a conscious effort, after not having the best of starts in the league, to put out the best team that they possibly could. They ended up winning a trophy they had never won before and getting Champions League qualification through doing so.

"We can't choose to be picky about what kind of tournaments or trophies we want to try to win. I think the manager is desperate to win something, as are the players.

"The Europa League would be a fantastic competition to win and by doing so, it would also take us into the Champions League."

The Toffees go into the game against Atalanta hoping to show a reaction to their poor performance in the 3-0 home Premier League defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.

They can be backed at 12/5 to win in Italy and are 23/10 to claim a draw, with the Merseysiders available at 12/5 to keep a clean sheet.

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