During his pre-match press conference earlier today, Carlo Ancelotti was asked his thoughts on the game and if he had a message for the Blues.
“Everyone in the club is really excited for this final. It’s a great opportunity to improve the history of this club.
“The message I can say to them is this - don’t go to play the final, because they have already achieved this. Go to win the final.”
Everton had a disappointing showing last weekend on the south coast, and Ancelotti was asked what his side worked on this weekend to ensure a different result.
“We have to analyze the game against Southampton. We have to be more focused on the little things, more concentrated on certain situations.
“It will be a different game against Newcastle we have to concentrate more on the things we have prepared.”
Anthony Gordon came on in the second half and changed the game, and during the week sought out the veteran manager to ask what he could do to get more minutes. Ancelotti remained coy on whether he would have a chance to start this weekend.
“I think Anthony Gordon has the same possibility to play as the other members of the squad. I have to nominate the first eleven, but as I say to the players all the time, it’s not important to start the game, to be in the first eleven. It’s important to be involved - it doesn’t matter if you play from the beginning or the second half - the target is to help the team for the minutes that they play.
“If they play five minutes they have to help the team for the five minutes that they play, This is what really matters. It’s not so important to be in the first eleven. For sure I am not going to finish this first eleven, never happened. Now there are three substitutions, I like to use all three.
“It is good for him to have motivation. For a young player the motivation is important to continue to improve every single day. Being focused in the training, showing a good spirit, Anthony is doing this.
“Also if he wants to talk to me he can come to me, show me his personality, his character. This is good for him, and good for our team.”
Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a brace during the international break and in comments to the media indicated that he had hoped Ancelotti was watching. Without James Rodriguez this weekend, how much of a bonus is it for the Blues to have a player like the Icelander waiting to make the step up?
“Gylfi can play with James, without James, he has the quality that gives him the ability to play in many positions on the pitch.
“In the time he was involved on the pitch in my opinion he did well. He had good performances.”