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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Jela Feeling Sharp

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Nikica Jelavic aims to take his pre-season form into the new term and fire the Blues to success.
 
The Croatian striker has only played 90 minutes for the Blues this summer following an extended break due to international action.
 
But in his two second-half outings against Blackburn Rovers and Real Madrid, the 27-year-old has struck three times and looks close to his clinical best.
 
Upon signing with the Blues in January 2012, Jelavic helped the Club enjoy a strong second half to the campaign, hitting a remarkable 11 goals in 13 starts.
 
The 2013/14 campaign was less prolific, with eight strikes to his name.
 
But with new manager Roberto Martinez declaring the former Rangers man focussed and refreshed, Jelavic himself is keen to emulate his early Everton goal glut.
 
"Obviously it's always good to score - for the confidence, especially for a striker," he told evertontv.
 
"I'm glad I have finally started to score [again] and I hope to score many goals this season.
 
"It's still a few weeks until the first game [of the season], so I still need to get some fitness, but that's getting better and better with every day.
 
"To be honest, I feel sharp. The whole team does. We train hard and that's the only way to be sharp."
 
The Blues have been earning plaudits for adopting a new style under Martinez, and Jelavic is optimistic the squad's efforts in pre-season can pay dividends when the Barclays Premier League kicks off once again.
 
He added: "We are working hard in preparing for the new season. We have a good squad like last year, so I hope we can do even better.
 
"I'm excited, like everyone, about the new manager. It's good. There are some new things in training and I'm excited. I can't wait to start."
 
Will Jelavic be on target again when the Blues take on Valencia tonight? Click here to purchase evertontv Live's coverage of the game in Miami to find out.

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    REACTION: Roberto Martinez said his side paid the price for poor defending following the defeat at St Mary's: evertonfc.com/news/2014/12/2…

  • Saturday, 17:30

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