Belfast Telegraph

Everton's Phil Jagielka: We will keep working hard to get out of 'tough period'

Everton captain Phil Jagielka has ordered his side to improve - and quickly.

The Toffees needed a last-minute penalty from Wayne Rooney to rescue a 1-1 draw at Brighton on Sunday.

Their search for a first away win since January goes on after Seagulls goalkeeper Mathew Ryan's double save to deny Kevin Mirallas in stoppage time.

Everton are still hovering just above the Premier League relegation zone and Jagielka knows they cannot afford to stay there.

"We know we're in a little bit of a tough period at the moment," the defender told the club website.

"But there's only one way we can get out if it and that's by playing football, working hard for each other and hopefully those goalmouth scrambles at the end, the goalkeeper jumps out of the way of one.

"At the end of the day, we have to do better. We're expected to do better and we want to do better.

"We've got eight points and we can build on that. But I don't want to be talking in five or 10 games and us still be struggling and scrapping around for points.

"We need to start winning sooner rather than later and start climbing that table."

Brighton led through Anthony Knockaert's 82nd-minute strike, the Frenchman's first goal of the season.

But they could not hold on and were pegged back after Bruno was penalised for his late foul on Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

"We will learn from that," Knockaert told Brighton's website. "But if you look at our start to the season, it's not been bad. We've played some really good teams.

"My goal could have brought three points but obviously we conceded a poor one at the end. But it's still a good point to take against a strong Everton team.

"We've managed to get eight points from eight games, so it's a good start and we have to keep on going."

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