Phil Jagielka backs Everton youngster Jack Rodwell

Jack Rodwell and referee Martin Atkinson
Rodwell was shown a straight red card for his tackle on Luis Suarez

Everton defender Phil Jagielka says Blues midfielder Jack Rodwell cannot be put off by his red card in the 2-0 Merseyside derby defeat by Liverpool.

The 20-year-old had his three-match ban revoked after an appeal and Jagielka believes it should not distract from the midfielder's recent form.

Jagielka, 29, told BBC Radio Merseyside: "He's finding his tackles and finding his range.

"He's put some pretty meaty challenges in, which everybody likes to see."

Records count for nothing - Jagielka

The England international added: "You'll have to ask me in the next couple of games to see if [the red card] is going to put Jack off from going into a 50/50 as hard as he has done.

"He wouldn't be human if he didn't have second thoughts next time he goes to win the ball as he has been, but it's a learning curve for Jack."

Everton travel to Stamford Bridge on Saturday hoping Rodwell recovers from the groin injury he picked up while on England Under-21 duty this week.

The Toffees are unbeaten against the Blues in their last six meetings and Jagielka admits the Chelsea players will be out to put that record straight.

He continued: "We've got a few teams that we've done well against and I'm sure their players that have been there for a while will know they've not had great results against us. They'll be out to dispel that.

"But to the same extent they'll have doubts in their minds if it's 1-0 or 0-0 going into the last 15 or 20 minutes."

Top Stories