Jela backed to shine


Everton defender Sylvain Distin has backed Nikica Jelavic to fight his way though his current goal drought and get back to his best.

The Croatian striker has been on a poor run in front of goal, with just three strikes to his name in the last 17 games, but despite that poor run of form boss David Moyes has kept faith with him and picks him week in week out.

Defender Distin believes it is only a matter of time before he is back to the sort of form which saw him net 11 goals in 16 outings following his arrival from Rangers a year ago.

“I’m not worried about Jela at all,” the French defender told the Echo. “Maybe Jela isn’t quite getting on the end of things like he has been but he’s still getting himself in the positions, and he is still creating chances for his team-mates. Now he just needs that final touch.

“Mentally, he is strong enough. I am sure he still believes in himself, so he doesn’t need any help in that regard. But even if he does need some, we have such a good atmosphere in the dressing room that I’m pretty sure the lads aren’t upset about it.”

Distin added: “We’re all behind him. We all look out for each other. Once he gets one goal, the rest will come.

“Every striker in the world – well, except maybe (Cristiano) Ronaldo and (Lionel) Messi – will have bad patches. That’s the life of a striker. They will always have good patches and bad patches throughout a season.”