Jagielka: Everton will keep improving under Martinez

The captain is delighted with the former Wigan manager's impact at Goodison Park and is looking forward to leading his team-mates in the Europa League next season
Phil Jagielka is convinced Everton are moving in the right direction under Roberto Martinez and expects to keep on improving next season.

The Spaniard arrived at Goodison Park last June as David Moyes's replacement and guided Everton to fifth place in the Premier League thanks to a record points total.

9/2 Everton are 9/2 with Paddy Power to finish in the top four next season
Jagielka and his team-mates will now be playing European football again after four years out of continental competition and it is a challenge that the 31-year-ols is relishing.

"It has been brilliant playing under Roberto," he is quoted as saying in the Liverpool Echo. "Getting the record points total gives us something to try and beat next year.

"We should be even stronger because we know what to expect from the manager and his staff, and he knows what to expect from us.

"I think it is going to be really exciting moving into next season. We have missed European football, we are desperate to play it again.

"I am sure the fans are excited to get out and about, and we are looking forward to hearing and seeing them all over Europe."

Jagielka's consistent form for Everton under Martinez has seen him establish himself as part of England's first-choice centre-half pairing with Gary Cahill as the duo prepare for this year's World Cup in Brazil.