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Saturday 27 September K.O. 12:45

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Jags: We're Hungry To Kick Off

Everton skipper counting down days until August 17.

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Phil Jagielka
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Phil Jagielka says Everton's USA tour has made the squad hungry to start the new season.

There's only a home clash with Real Betis on Sunday before the Premier League campaign gets underway.

Everton rounded off their American tour with a narrow 1-0 defeat to Valencia but Jagielka is looking at the bigger picture.

He told evertontv: "The tour has been good. there has been quite a lot of travelling and we have spent quite a lot of time together. The opposition has been fantastic, the training facilities have been really good, so it is positive and it will make the difference when the season starts. Hopefully we start off well.

"Now the tournament has finished we are desperate to get home and start the final preparations for the start of the season.

"It is a fantastic game at Goodison in front of our home fans before the season starts. I'm sure the fans will be out in numbers."

New skipper Jagielka admitted the extreme heat and humidity in Miami had probably affected their performance against a Valencia side who had already beaten Inter 4-0 in this competition.

He said: "We probably saved our worst performance for the last game. It was obviously difficult conditions; the pitch was very long and very hard to play on. I am sure when we look back on the video there will be positives and stuff we need to work on."

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