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

Jags Fired Up For New Era

by Rob Urbani @efc_roburbani

A few minutes in the presence of new manager Roberto Martinez was enough to give Club skipper Phil Jagielka a very good feeling about the season that lies ahead.

The England international returned to pre-season training on Monday for his first day working under the new regime.

Having taken on the skipper's armband from the departed Phil Neville, Jagielka is acutely aware of the increased importance of his role with a new man at the helm.

He told evertontv: "We spoke a couple of times (over the summer) but we had the main conversation on Monday morning when I came in. He was the second or third person that I met. I went into his office and we had a little chat about general things and I think we both came out very happy and both looking forward to the season.

"With the role I was given towards the end of last season and then being captain with a different manager, it’s going to be a little strange, not only getting to know the manager and his staff but the responsibilities he wants me to have as well.

"I think it will be crucial for me this season to get on well with the new manager and bridge the gap between the players and the manager because that’s a key role for the captain. Hopefully the players will appreciate that and so will the manager."

Working with a new manager means there will be a change of approach - but that is something Jagielka welcomes.

He adds: "Yes, but it’s been exciting at the same time. There are still people that have been here a while and make you feel at home. It’s a bit strange to turn up and see a different car parked in the manager’s spot, different coaches warming you up and taking sessions.

"A lot of players have been here for a long time now and have been used to the same old routines - which wasn’t a bad thing – but sometimes when you get a new manager, a new style and a new schedule it can transform some people’s careers. Hopefully the boys that were feeling a bit jaded have a little bit of a buzz with a new manager coming in. It’s going to be an exciting pre-season.

"As a modern-day footballer, that’s what you want. You want to learn on the job – it’s not a case of thinking you have made it and stop trying to get better. Having a different style of manager and different style of coaches will hopefully help every player in the squad improve. If that’s the case, it’s going to be exciting times here."

Sign up to evertontv's live pre-season coverage and watch Jagielka in action when the Blues take on Austria Vienna this Sunday.

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