Everton caretaker manager Duncan Ferguson said he is ready to embrace the challenge of his second game in charge on Sunday at Manchester United, but revealed the Blues’ list of absentees has grown this week.
With midfielders Jean-Philippe Gbamin and André Gomes already recuperating from long-term layoffs, Ferguson confirmed Theo Walcott and Morgan Schneiderlin, who both impressed in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Chelsea, will join them on the sidelines.
Fabian Delph, Yerry Mina and Seamus Coleman may be involved, though, as might Lucas Digne, who was forced to be substituted during the Chelsea victory through injury:
“Theo Walcott’s out for three weeks - calf injury. Morgan Schneiderlin, two weeks; calf.
“It’s very disappointing considering how they played; obviously with Theo on the counter attack, and Morgan covering the space in front of his back four. It’s a big blow, but we move on.
“Fabian Delph, Yerry Mina and Seamus Coleman are in light training; they’ve trained the last two or three days.
“Digne trained this morning. It’s a little bit tight but he’s trained, so we’re hopeful with him.”
Reflecting on last weekend’s triumph over Chelsea, which saw an ecstatic Ferguson race down the touchline to celebrate each of Everton’s three goals, the boss spoke of the positive impact the result has had on the group since then.
Ferguson also believes his players are now fully prepared to embrace their next challenge; a trip to Old Trafford to face an in-form Manchester United, on a ground where Everton have won once in the last 27 years:
“It’s been great. The three points were so important for us and got us out of the relegation zone.
“A bit chaotic, but exciting and emotional. Obviously it was my first time on the touchline in the Premier League; it was a fantastic day and, of course, I got caught up in it as well. But i think the players needed that encouragement.
“Everybody’s delighted; that’s what happens when you get wins - everybody’s happier. The boys seem good, have trained well, and are motivated to go again.”
“I’m not going to change. I’m just going to be myself. That’s it.”
Asked on whether he would like the job full-time, Ferguson was again coy on the subject, but did admit he has an even greater taste for management after last Saturday:
“Definitely in the future, I think I’ll look to progress to be a manager. Of course, now I know I can do it in one game, but it’s only one game.
“It was emotional, exciting, fantastic; in the future, possibly i can move into management.”