Tim Howard has been impressed by the form of Everton team-mate Phil Jagielka

Tim Howard: Backing Jagielka to shine in derby

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Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard believes team-mate Phil Jagielka could have a key role to play in this weekend's Merseyside derby after an 'immense' display against QPR.

Jagielka was a solid presence at the back at Loftus Road as 10-man Everton held on for a 1-1 draw following Steven Pienaar's harsh dismissal.

Howard has backed the England international to produce another impressive performance when his side host fierce local rivals Liverpool on Sunday.

He said: "Jags was immense. He's a leader, he's solid - and he was an animal against QPR.

"He's grown and grown and looks like he will cement himself in the England team playing like that. He's been doing that for us for years.

"He's been a rock at Everton for a long time and we need him to have the momentum going into the derby."