Everton players 'gutted' by Moyes departure - Jagielka

The Toffees vice-captain admits that his team-mates will be sad to see the Manchester United-bound boss leave but is adamant that he departs with the club in "a great state"
Everton centre-back Phil Jagielka admits that he and his team-mates are "gutted" that manager David Moyes will be leaving Goodison Park at the end of the season.

The outgoing manager feels that Everton need a successor with Premier League know-how in order to progress further
The Scot has been in charge of the Toffees for 11 years but will depart for Manchester United in the summer to take over from the retiring Sir Alex Ferguson and was given an emotional send-off at Sunday's 2-0 win over West Ham, his last home match.

Jagielka will become the side's permanent captain next season following the summer departure of Phil Neville and the 30-year-old believes that Moyes leaves the club in fine shape.

"The guy has been here 11 years and has transformed the playing staff, the coaching staff, the facilities from top to bottom," the defender told reporters. "In the changing room, we are obviously all gutted that he will be leaving us next season but we understand the way football is.

"Frustrations must have been high. Teams around us that are potentially not doing as well but getting more finances made it a tough couple of years.

"To the same extent, he has probably had the best squad he's had for a long time but he is still leaving that behind and we are still looking forward to next season."

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The centre-back feels that it is impossible to speculate as to what effect Moyes's exit will have on the club but argues that he leaves things in good shape.

"That's [the effect of Moyes' departure] a question I can't answer," Jagielka added. "Ask me in six months or year's time and we'll find out. He has done a lot for the club but he is leaving it in a great state. For the manager who comes in, his first phone call should probably be to David Moyes to thank him for the squad he put together.

"It is going to be an interesting summer to see who does come in but we are proud to have had David Moyes as our manager.

"There are only two players who he hasn't brought in and even those two - Tony Hibbert and Leon Osman - have gone on to have great careers.

"He has done a lot for everyone, not just the players here but others who have gone on to do other things and win trophies - the manager has a big role to play in a lot of people's careers."