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Silva not expecting major January changes

Blues boss also spoke of importance of FA Cup prior to Lincoln tie on Saturday

Everton Training and Press Conference
Marco Silva at Friday’s pre-match press conference
Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Everton manager Marco Silva is not expecting wholesale changes during the January transfer window, despite the Blues’ poor recent form.

Silva’s side have lost four of their last five matches but, speaking at his pre-match press conference before Saturday’s visit of Lincoln City in the FA Cup, said he will not make any knee-jerk decisions in the back of their disappointing run:

“We cannot change our idea and our philosophy as a club every week if you win two games or if you don’t win two games.

“Of course, I understand our form wasn’t good enough for us but it’s a moment and we are capable of changing things for us again and to show our quality again and to win and achieve the points we want and we need.

“We know what we can do so let’s see what’s possible.”

Everton have fired blanks in their last two matches, losing 1-0 both away to Brighton & Hove Albion and at home to Leicester City.

Everton FC v Leicester City - Premier League
Everton have gone two matches without a goal
Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Having scored five in the previous game at Burnley, Silva said he is working with his front line to help them get back on the score sheet sooner rather than later, but added the whole squad has a responsibility to chip in:

“It’s what I want as well. For me, it’s important that they can all score, but in our squad, each player can score, not just our attackers.

“I understand in the last few games they didn’t score enough goals. We as a team aren’t going to put all this pressure on them, but we’re working with them to give this confidence to them and it’s important that they start scoring again.”

After four games in ten days, the shortest time period between matches of any of the 20 Premier League clubs, Silva admitted an element of fatigue began to creep into Everton’s performances over the Christmas period, but would not offer that as an excuse for their results.

But with an extra day’s rest between the previous match and the Lincoln cup tie, followed by a week’s break before the Premier League programme resumes, the Portuguese boss is expecting to see a re-energised Toffees team:

“It was a busy time; the schedule for us was really tough. It was a tired performance in some moments as well. We had one more day to prepare for the next match and next week will be a normal week again.

“It [tiredness] is not an excuse. Now is the moment to put full focus in our FA Cup match and after we have time to rest and to prepare for the next Premier League match [against Bournemouth on January 13].”

Silva would not be drawn on possible selection changes he would make for the match against the Imps, leaders of League Two currently.

Everton FC v Leicester City - Premier League
Cenk Tosun was a substitute against Leicester but could well start against the Imps
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

But he understands the importance of the FA Cup, still Everton’s most recent major honour, to the Goodison Park faithful and will select a side capable of beating Lincoln:

“It is about desire, about our ambition. Our fans have a big desire to see our club doing fantastic in the FA Cup as well. It is the same ambition for us.

“[It is] really, really important for us as a club. I know the desire of our fans in this competition, how they look to this competition as well. I know it’s important for us as a club.

“Now the match is here and it’s really important for us and we have to play and understand it will be a tough match, but we have all the conditions to do our obligation, because it’s our obligation to play in the next round of the FA Cup.”

Silva also dismissed the notion of there being extra pressure on Everton, given they are at home to a side three divisions below them in Lincoln.

Lincoln City v Port Vale - Sky Bet League Two
Lincoln are having a fine season and lead League Two
Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Indeed, the Blues boss is expecting a challenging afternoon from the Imps, who reached the quarter-finals as a non-league side two years ago and will be backed by more than 5,000 fans at Goodison tomorrow:

“Pressure is always behind us. It’s normal when you are in this job. When you are in a club like Everton, you have to feel and live easier with this pressure. It’s a fantastic pressure.

“We play to win matches, even if you play against a team not in the same division. For them, it will be a fantastic challenge, it will be a party to come here and challenge us.

“They love the competition as well; they had some good moments in the competition also. It will be a good game and it’s a game for us to win and to play in the next round.”

Silva was also questioned on the futures of midfielder James McCarthy and striker Oumar Niasse, with both having been linked with January moves.

But the Blues boss added there is “nothing” to report on the future of either player, or in the rumours linking Barcelona forward Malcom to the Toffees, but said winger Ademola Lookman has recovered from an ankle injury and is in contention to return against the Imps.