Everton face a tricky challenge tomorrow as they travel to League One side Lincoln City in the second round of the Carabao Cup. The Blues had beaten the Imps 2-1 after overcoming an early scare in the FA Cup last season, and will look to get off to a better start to prevent a debacle.
The Blues are low in confidence right now after suffering their first loss of the season on Friday against Aston Villa, and are struggling with injuries right now as well with new signing Jean-Philippe Gbamin likely out for 2-3 months.
Manager Marco Silva addressed the media today at Finch Farm and insisted that he would not necessarily rotate his squad for tomorrow, and will look to play his strongest side.
“Lincoln is a team we know very well, we played against them last season, and they know us well.
“Playing in this competition for us we are going to play with our maximum ambition. We are going to go step by step, but with full ambition in this competition to do something special.
“Maximum respect to our opponents, and to the competition as well. If we want to do something special in both cups, the most important is tomorrow because we are here now.
“It doesn’t make sense to make rotation just for the sake of making a rotation. We will play with the XI that I think is the best XI to win the match.”
Silva was asked what impressed him about the Imps from the game last season.
“It was a tough game until we scored in the first 20-25 minutes we scored early in the match. After that we controlled the game and dominated.
“We are talking about a team very strong on set pieces, those are the moments they try to punish their opponent.
In this type of competition this is a dream for them and they will give their maximum to play against us. It’s up to us to do what we should to win the match.”
The manager has been watching Lincoln and where their qualities lie.
“They are a little bit different. They were promoted and signed 3-4 players of a different profile than last season, with a different striker in the first few games of this season, he’s a good player.
“The offensive midfielder is a good player also, has improved their squad. They’ve kept the same backline, strong players, setpieces are really strong, with technical players in some positions, because they are playing in a different competition also.
“They started the season well though the last two results for them weren’t the best. But playing against a team like Everton will be living the dream for them. It’s up to us to do our job well.”
Regarding his squad selection for tomorrow, what qualities would he be looking for in his players?
“We have to be ourselves, respect the competition and respect the opponent and play with full ambition to go through in the competitions. This is our obligation as Everton football club.
“This type of competition is always tough to play, especially away from home but we have full confidence in our team. I have full confidence in our players, to play our football, with quality, try to control the match, score and go through in the competition.
“In football, the most important thing is winning football matches. We’re not going to be looking at the next match. Our way is to go there to win this football match, to stay in this competition.
“The last game was a bad result for us but we have to react.”