PHIL JAGIELKA admits Everton’s drive for success on two fronts is putting a strain on the squad – and hopes David Moyes can bring in a fresh face this week.
The Goodison outfit were spared an energy-sapping replay when John Heitinga’s dramatic late winner earned a 2-1 FA Cup fourth round win at npower Championship side Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
Nevertheless Everton were once again significantly below their best having been held to frustrating goalless draws in their previous two matches.
With Moyes intent on a lengthy FA Cup run as well as a continued challenge for Champions League qualification, the Goodison manager is reluctant to take many of his first-team regulars out of the firing line.
And Jagielka admits Everton would benefit from at least one new signing before the transfer window slams shut on Thursday evening.
“It’s tough on the squad to keep the momentum going, because we don’t have the largest amount of players,” said the England international.
“We can do it, though, because we’ve proven we can do it before. We do have quality in the squad, we have good people to come off the bench.
“But we could do with at least one new face this week. If we can get the right people in to make this good squad stronger, then we’ll be delighted.
“But the manager knows we don’t just want to start adding random numbers to the squad. Sometimes that makes it more difficult, especially when those type of people come in and don’t play games.”
Heitinga – whose 81st-minute substitution for Nikica Jelavic prompted jeers from the away end – score a rocket in the first minute of injury time after Steven Pienaar’s 18th-minute opener had been equalised nine minutes later by Bolton striker Marvin Sordell.
“I don’t think Johnny came on to score the winner!” said Jagielka. “It was more to help Felli move up top and give us another option. It was a fantastic strike though. We know he has the technically ability to do something like that.
“The fans saw a striker coming off for a centre-half, and that’s why they were booing. But we moved Felli, who has been one of our main attacking threats this season, up front.