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Southampton (A) Sat 20 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Boss' Jags Captain Challenge

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

David Moyes says Phil Jagielka's wholehearted and high quality performances convinced him to hand him the skipper's armband.

Jagielka has emerged as vice captain over the last couple of seasons and will lead Everton in Sunday's Merseyside derby with Phil Neville sidelined with a knee injury.

The former Sheffield United man will assume the mantle of full time Everton captain from next season, after Neville has departed.

"He’s vocal around this place – you hear him every minute running up and down that corridor!" Moyes said of Jagielka.

"I think his form on the pitch has been fantastic. He has defended really well for us and he has been reliable. He’s picked up a couple of injuries in the last few months with cuts on his ankle and he has missed a few games which has been crucial for us.

"But he has played very well and he deserves to be captain because of the performances he has put in."

Neville became captain in 2007 when David Weir left for Rangers and since then his professionalism and leadership qualities have been plain for all to see.

Moyes has now challenged the next man to wear the armband to live up to the standards the veteran has established.

The Everton boss said: "What we want him to do now is develop the great leadership qualities like Phil Neville has had in the past.

"If he does that we will not only have a really good player on the pitch but a really good captain off it."

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