April 11, 2018 / 6:25 AM / 9 days ago

Soccer: Jagielka sees Everton attack benefiting from solid defence

(Reuters) - Everton captain Phil Jagielka believes improved performances from the defence can help give the Merseyside club’s attackers greater freedom to express themselves in front of goal.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Everton vs Manchester City - Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain - March 31, 2018 Manchester City's Raheem Sterling in action with Everton's Phil Jagielka REUTERS/Peter Powell

Last weekend’s 0-0 draw with local rivals Liverpool marked a second clean sheet in four Premier League games and centre-back Jagielka believes that sort of solidity is key to the creation of match-winning goals for the forwards.

"Clean sheets are the foundation you build from," Jagielka told Everton's website www.evertonfc.com.

“You want to give your striker the chance to be the match winner. If we can keep it tight at the back, hopefully the forwards will get one or two chances in a game and take them, so the clean sheet is always important.

“Confidence works both ways... “

Everton, who are ninth in the standings, will be gunning for back-to-back away victories for the first time this season when they travel to 15th-placed Swansea City on Saturday.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru

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