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Silva on ‘different’ Sigurdsson, Everton turning point

Manager’s comments after Blues’ 3-0 win away at Cardiff

Cardiff City v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Everton might have gone into their schedule-enforced 17-day break on a poor streak of three straight losses, but returned to action yesterday with a big 3-0 away win at Cardiff City.

Icelander Gylfi Sigurdsson was the toast of the Blues, scoring twice to settle what was a nervy game at times in the first half, and manager Marco Silva acknowledged the important role he played.

“Gylfi is an important player for us. He is a different Gylfi Sigurdsson this season and he deserved those goals, they are important because in the next match you will see him more confident.

“He always gives everything, every day at Finch Farm and in the matches. And when he can score and assist it is important because it boosts his confidence.

“We have given him a different role this season and I saw him linking more with the two midfielders [Gana and Schneiderlin] which is something we want in his game.

“He scored two fantastic goals, which were really important for him and the team.”

The Toffees have struggled with defending setpieces recently, but apart from a few hair-raising moments were mostly untroubled in the back.

“I am delighted with the result and again with the players’ attitude, which is something that has never changed.

“It is an important win and credit to our players. After we scored our second goal, our performance returned to the team’s normal level.

“You can prepare everything well but results are the most important thing in football and when you win, it boosts your confidence and the players can perform at their normal level.

“The clean sheet was important. We were in command for the whole match. We knew how strong Cardiff would be, with direct balls and set-pieces.

“We were focussed, with a good attitude and decided the match with good goals. We deserved the three points.”

The 233rd Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park is on Sunday, and Silva will be hoping that the win last night is the spark his side needed.

“We hope the win can be a turning point, we have missed consistency until now. I want to be more consistent, Some of our players performed better than in the past few games but it is just three points.

“We are working to give our fans a good feeling again on Sunday. I know it is a special match for them and we hope we can give them a good result and good feeling.

“It was important we won this game to give us the confidence we need as a team. Sunday will be at home with our fans, we expect a fantastic atmosphere to push us to achieve the result we want.”

Morgan Schneiderlin made a surprise return to the side after not having featured for months.

“Morgan gave me the right answer in the past 15 days. Tom [Davies] and Andre [Gomes] did well in the last game – but I am here to take the decision about the best XI for each match.

“I will always take the right decision for our team.

“Morgan never gives up. He has been doing well in the past month and showed me he deserved the chance to play.”