Everton host Crystal Palace tomorrow at Goodison Park in the early game, with the chance to continue their good form and pick up some more points as the Premier League table continues to be a close-knit affair with eleven points separating fourth and fourteenth, and thirteen games still to play.
Speaking ahead of the game. manager Carlo Ancelotti provided an injury report on his squad.
“For Gbamin the plan is eight weeks after surgery. The surgery went well and now he’s doing individual treatment. As we said, in eight weeks. With him we have to go slowly because the injury was big. We hope to have him before the end of the season.”
When asked if Andre Gomes was still on track for the game at Arsenal in just over a fortnight Ancelotti agreed.
“Yes. We are going to organize a friendly game for us when we come back from the holidays (winter break) and everything is okay with him.”
On what he has learned from this team so far the Italian veteran reiterated his previous message.
“As I have said before, the spirit of the team is good. I think we managed well the draw against Newcastle because the performance was good. After that Watford was an important result without a man and fought from behind. This helped to keep the motivation high and the atmosphere in the squad is good.”
Ancelotti was then asked how he has managed to improve just about every statistic with the same squad that his predecessor struggled with.
“I don’t know, I have experienced usually when you change the manager there is a reaction from the players. Now that they are reacting well, from the first day the style of football was better, but it can be better. Right now I am pretty satisfied with what we are doing.
“In some games we did well. In other parts we are not so good, we need to improve and have more confidence in our play, our style. In some parts of the game it seems we are a little confused. We need to be more precise in some parts of the pitch.”
After the winter break the Toffees face a tough gauntlet of games, including Arsenal & Manchester United away, and a visit from runaway leaders Liverpool.
“At the moment we are focusing on this game, it arrives after a lot of games. We did well, we want to close this period with a victory of course, because it is a fantastic opportunity to climb the table.
“After that we have a holiday and that is important, I think the players need a rest. Also physically the team is in good condition, we only have one (big) injury, it is important for us that we have to close this period and prepare for the end of this season. The games are really difficult.”