Jags In Top Gear
Defender credits teammates for his own high standards this term.
Phil Jagielka believes he is playing some of the best football of his career – all thanks to the quality within the current Everton squad.
The England centre-half agreed a contract extension to keep him at the Club until 2017 last week - a decision he says came easily given the Blues’ fantastic start to the 2012/13 campaign.
David Moyes’ men are currently lying fifth in the Barclays Premier League standings and waltzed into the fourth round of the FA Cup on Monday with a 5-1 win at Cheltenham.
And after five-and-a-half years at Goodison Park, Jagielka feels the Club’s recent peak has led to him rediscovering his own best form.
"I think they would be up there," he told evertontv when asked to reflect on his recent displays. "Just before I got injured [in 2009], I was flying quite high as well, though obviously I was a little bit younger then.
"That was nice, but I think it's easy to play in a team doing well when the confidence is up there. When we're not doing well, especially as a defender, it is a lot harder to perform at a good level.
"But the team is performing well at the moment, and that's the be all and end all. If you can chip in and play well as well, it's a bonus, and most of the squad have been doing that this season."
Having joined in the summer of 2007, Jagielka has been a part of numerous squads under Moyes.
But with the Blues of 2012/13 sitting pretty ahead of Saturday's visit of Swansea, the former Sheffield United star believes the diversity within the present ranks has created the ideal recipe for success.
He said: "We've got a lot of options and we've got a group of players that have been here a while now. We're so close as a unit and we've got a lot of players with attacking flair that can score goals and create chances.
"We've got a good blend of young and old, so the squad is definitely up there with the best I've been in. We've had a good start to the season and hopefully we can have a good rest of the campaign and progress from there.
“I've signed for a few years and I hope we will go further up the league and be in this situation year in and year out."
Tickets for Everton's game against Swansea on Saturday 12 January are still available. To buy, click here, call 0871 663 1878 or visit the Park End Box Office at Goodison Park, Everton Two in Liverpool One or TicketQuarter in Queen Square.