Jags Thanks 'Hero' Howard

Everton skipper Phil Jagielka has thanked goalkeeper Tim Howard for helping him be the penalty hero in Wednesday's win over Stoke City.

Jagielka's inch-perfect spot-kick fired the Blues through to Saturday's Barclays Asia Trophy final after Howard had earlier repelled one from midfielder Marco van Ginkel.

Roberto Martinez's men will now face Arsenal at the Singapore National Stadium on Saturday and Jagielka said: "It's pre-season - we know that, but the boys have put in a good shift and we're delighted to be through to the final.

"It was a tough game for both of us but considering the conditions and that we've not been here for too long, I think both teams gave a good account of themselves and it was good to go to a penalty shootout for the fans because it was nice and exciting.

"But it wouldn't have been the winning penalty unless T-How saves one and it was a good save.”

Howard dived to his right to palm Van Ginkel's effort over the crossbar in the shootout and, like Jagielka, was happy to help put his side in with a shot of some early-season silverware.

"We're looking forward to the final and it's exciting for us, it really is," he said. "We want to set a winning culture at this football club and even though it's pre-season, winning matters to us.

"It's hot out here but we were really well prepared. In the week leading up to it we did a really good job in our preparations and thankfully it paid off."

Watch delayed coverage of Saturday's final against Arsenal, plus live action from the remainder of the Blues' away pre-season fixtures via evertontv. Click here for details.

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