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The Toffees captain thinks that the club's injury problems are harming their chances of qualifying for the Champions League after losing to top-four rivals Tottenham on Saturday

Everton captain Phil Jagielka believes the club's injury problems up front could prove costly in the race for a Champions League qualifying spot.

The Merseyside outfit fell a 1-0 defeat at fellow top-four hopefuls Tottenham on Sunday, with Emmanuel Adebayor's goal in the second half settling matters to give Spurs the edge over the Toffees.

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Roberto Martinez's men enjoyed spells of dominance at White Hart Lane but were unable to break through with strikers Romelu Lukaku, Lacina Traore and Arouna Kone all missing, and now sit now five points adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool.

"We're struggling a little bit at the moment," Jagielka told the Liverpool Echo. "Lacina is not quite right yet and it's difficult because although we played some good stuff, we were perhaps missing that fox in the box or target man to get us the goal.

"It's frustrating and at the least we should probably have kept a clean sheet and come away with 0-0 but we didn't.

"It's going to be a little bit harder for us now, there are other teams in the mix for fourth.

"If we'd beat Spurs we'd have pushed on a little bit, but there's still 13 games left and a lot of points to play for.

"A lot of teams are trying to get as many points as they can for one reason or another and we've got a lot of hard games too."

January loan signing Traore was only fit enough for a place among the substitutes at the weekend, while Lukaku remains sidelined with an ankle issue and Kone is a long-term absentee with a knee injury.

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