Everton manager Marco Silva has called on his players to right the wrongs of their recent defeats, starting with tomorrow night’s trip to Cardiff City.
Silva’s side have lost their last three Premier League games and a dreadful run of form since December has seen the Blues slip from sixth to 11th.
But, speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s game, Silva said his players will do everything to leave South Wales victorious, and are not even thinking about Sunday’s Merseyside Derby yet:
“We must change the last results. This is an opportunity for us.
“It will be a tough match. Is it a must-win? We will see. It would be a mistake to think about the Merseyside Derby before preparing for tomorrow. I don’t want mistakes. We will respect Cardiff and do everything we can to win.
“It will be tough. They are strong with the direct ball and the first and second ball they fight. Before the last match they won two games in a row and they keep fighting for what they want.
“It will be up to us to show our quality on the pitch - I hope our attacking players show this quality.”
Tuesday’s match will be Everton’s first game in 17 days, since the 1-0 defeat at Watford.
Silva added that he was glad for the break in the fixture list and has allowed him more time on the training pitch and for his players to rest after a hectic schedule:
“We’ve had some time to break and to rest. The last days we’ve had time to work on important things.
“We had a busy period before and it was tough - we didn’t achieve the results we played for. It was a good time for a break as it gave me a chance to speak to them and settle some things in our game.
“When you don’t have time to work you lose important things so we’ve had time to prepare well for tomorrow’s match.”
Silva has come under increasing pressure of late due to being unable thus far to halt Everton’s nosedive down the table, and admitted he cannot be pleased with recent results.
But he will continue to fight and do everything he can to change Everton’s fortunes:
“We are not happy with our last form and result. When we look at the table, myself and the players also, are not happy.
“It is my job to try and fix everything and settle and work everything in our way. I believe and I keep believing we have the quality to achieve what we did at the start of the season.”
“I’m not happy with the results and position we are in but everything is open for us. Our goal at the start of the season is the same now but we have to look at each match like final.
“The main thing is seeing the players play with confidence, enjoy the matches and do everything we can to win and see if we achieve our goal at the end.”
Ahead of the game against Neil Warnock’s struggling Bluebirds, Silva also provided an update on which of his players will miss out.
Phil Jagielka, who has been missing since November, has been sidelined with an unspecified injury, but the manager confirmed he and Leighton Baines, who suffered a problem to his ribs last month, are back in contention.
Though Yerry Mina, who has not played since sustaining a foot injury in January’s FA Cup defeat at Millwall, is unlikely to feature:
“Jags is okay, he’s been working with the team; Baines also. Mina is a doubt but we have one more session and we will see how he is.”