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Schneiderlin backs Everton duo to continue strong impact

Midfielder expects his countrymen to continue to impress

Everton v Rotherham United - Carabao Cup Second Round Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

On-loan centre-half Kurt Zouma probably did not expect to get pressed into action this early, and certainly not paired up with Mason Holgate in the heart of the Everton defence. A combination of injury and suspension however has seen Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Phil Jagielka sidelined and the Chelsea defender has done well in his last two starts.

Similarly Lucas Digne, who just joined the Blues this summer from Barcelona, would have also expected to sit behind veteran Leighton Baines for a bit before getting some game time. However, the left back has now started the last two games for Everton, and showed off his attacking flair as well, creating two goals for Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Speaking this weekend, their countryman Morgan Schneiderlin commended the defensive pair, saying that there was more to come from them.

“They are two very good players, we know that. Two games in a matter of days is not easy but they both produced very good performances. We need that for the rest of the season.

“They are settling well and add depth to the squad. They are very nice guys and good players, which makes it easy. They speak good English, too.

“All the players are going to take the time to get to know them even better and I’m sure everyone will improve.”

The Toffees struggled to break down a defensively resolute Huddersfield Town side on Saturday, and Schneiderlin knows that more is required of the team to get breakthroughs of that nature.

“It is frustrating of course when we wanted to win the game. But we lacked that little bit of magic to get the three points against this kind of team who come here and just defend.

“Huddersfield defended very deep and had 11 players in the final third. It is very hard but we needed to produce a bit more magic – something like a one-two, a shot, a dribble that could put them into trouble. We couldn’t produce that so it is disappointing.

“We expect teams to come and defend. But it is up to us to find the solution to win. We could see in the World Cup that a lot of teams defend very deep and it is hard to play against that. At the moment, these kinds of teams are picking up points.

“It is up to the teams trying to break them down to find the solutions. It is up to us - attackers, midfielders and defenders - to create some problems and put them in trouble.”

Everton’s injury situation means Silva could be excused for Saturday’s mishap, but the Blues will need to start stringing together some wins from better defensive and attacking displays soon before the schedule takes a turn for the tougher.