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Silva: Everton need five players in twelve days

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Manager’s comments after disappointing Opel Cup trip to Germany

FC Everton v FC Sevilla - Opel Cup 2019 Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

After a disastrous venture to Germany for the Opel Cup on Saturday, Everton manager Marco Silva reflected the fans’ concern about the squad needing reinforcements urgently.

A close-to-full-strength Toffees lost to Sevilla 1-0 before mixing up the team on the pitch and getting beaten 3-1 by hosts Mainz in an error-strewn performance.

Speaking after the game, the manager was unhappy to be leaving the competition with two losses in two differently-played games.

“First, I am pleased with the work our boys have been doing since we started at Finch Farm on July 1. This is the first thing and I have nothing to say about their behaviour, their capacity to work and always giving their best.

“But you know our ambition is to win, pre-season or not. I cannot see one football game without the aim and goal to win. And so when we play two hours of football and we lose the two matches then I am unhappy, as is normal.

“We have to look at both games in a different way because it is clear there is more responsibility in our first match.

“It was not easy for Morgan Schneiderlin and Tom Davies, it is not easy when they want to show the coach they are ready to play, to be with a lot of young kids around them, they don’t know each other really well and so that is why I say we have to look at both games differently.

“The most responsibility was in the first match even if it was Everton Football Club there in the second and it is always a big responsibility that comes with that.”

Silva appeared frustrated by the lack of incoming activity from the transfer market, despite pledging before the summer not to repeat what happened last year.

“It was a tough test for us, a good test, against a team at a different level in their preparations because they had two XI s ready to play and we finished the second game with Tom and Jonas and all of the others (on the pitch) will not be part of our squad and it is not easy, with 14 days to go before Crystal Palace, but we have to start preparing.

“It is not the best thing to do in this way, but it is what it is, and the club are trying to give me the conditions we need because, until now, we need some important players to sign, you are talking about five players in 12 days.

“It is too many and, of course, I would prefer to be with all of them in our squad at this moment but we don’t have that and we are preparing for the first game.

“It should be if you really want to be competitive and to do better than last season. Because at the end of the day, it is what we want to do: do better than last season.”

Going back to the games the Blues played today, he added -

“There were some good things (today), not during all of the 60 minutes but some good things, when we created two, three big chances to score, we should score.

“In our first pressure we didn’t do well but there were some good things. In the end they scored from a penalty after a silly foul, we cannot do that type of foul when we are almost four against one in that moment and before that we should be more aggressive.

“But, like I say to you, the players are playing tired. Yerry Mina just started this week, Dominic Calvert-Lewin came just this week also and I know it is more or less the same for our opponents because they have players in many of the same conditions. The second game was a little bit different, of course, many, many changes. Theo Walcott as a striker, Anthony Gordon as a striker and it will not be our image and so you have to look more at the first game and understand what has happened in the second game.”

Silva was also asked the question on top of most Blues’ minds - what was the status of midfield lynchpin Idrissa Gueye?

“I have spoken to him. Now he is on holiday and resting, and he should rest, and after let’s see what will happen.

“There is nothing new about the situation, nothing sure about the situation. Let’s see. We as a club, we hope to keep him because he is a really important player for us but the market is open and like we are trying to buy some players, some clubs can be interested in our players also.

“Of course, we don’t know what will happen with Gana and there is a lot of speculation but let’s see what will happen in the next few days. If Gana goes then we have to replace him directly and one player has to come in with that profile and, I said to you, one clear number 6 to come and to play.

“They are playing well and trying to know each other but Andre Gomes and Fabian Delph are similar players and we need a different profile as a football player.

Regarding the status of the other holes in the side, he went on to say -

“All the other positions you know. Today we played with Callum Connolly. We took a little bit of a risk with Seamus Coleman playing in the second game because we don’t have another right-back. Leighton Baines is injured and so it was the same with Lucas Digne also.

“We are looking at other positions too. We have played five games and in this moment and it clear for everybody that today we didn’t create enough chances and in the five games we scored three times – one direct free-kick from Joe Williams, today from a corner and the other was from our right-back.

“So it is clear we should put more quality and competition inside.”