Everton captain Phil Jagielka has called for everyone connected with the club to be united in what could be a crucial seven days for the Merseyside outfit.
The Toffees have endured a frustrating league campaign to date, as Wednesday’s 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace leaves them 12th in the league standings, and has led to calls from some supporters for boss Roberto Martinez to be sacked.
The Merseysiders have enjoyed better form in the cup competitions, as they reached the last four of the Capital One Cup earlier in the campaign, and they face an FA Cup semi-final showdown with Manchester United at Wembley Stadium next Saturday.
The match against the Red Devils will bring a potentially pivotal week for the Toffees to an end, as they will also take on Southampton at Goodison Park on Saturday in the league, before they face city rivals Liverpool at Anfield in another top-flight clash on Wednesday.
Skipper Jagielka will miss the first match against the Saints due to a hamstring complaint, but he has called for everyone connected with the club, including the supporters, to stick together during the crucial run of fixtures.
He said: “This is the start of a week that’s as big as it gets for Evertonians. Both [the derby and the cup semi-final] are going to be challenging but this squad is good enough to pass both tests.
“Please let’s all stick together. We will achieve nothing if we aren’t all together. We understand the frustration of the fans when things don’t go well but you can play your part in the next three games.”
Everton are available at 2.63 to begin their crucial run of matches with a victory over Southampton, who are on offer at 2.75 to secure the three points, while the draw is priced at 3.25.