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Ancelotti vote of confidence in James Rodriguez

Manager’s comments ahead of tricky trip to Wolves tomorrow

Everton Training Session Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Everton travel to Wolverhampton Wanderers tomorrow looking to get back on track after a disappointing home loss on New Year’s Day, and a less than convincing win over Rotherham United in the FA Cup on Saturday.

Carlo Ancelotti started with the big news that Dominic Calvert-Lewin has a hamstring ailment and will not make the trip to Wolves tomorrow, while Richarlison is going to be a late decision too.

The manager has been preaching consistency for some time now, and tomorrow will be a big test for the team.

“It’s really important, the next games are really important. We want to stay there in that position. We are going to play two away games against tough teams, Wolverhampton and Aston Villa. We need to get results if we want to stay in that position.

“It will be difficult, but we have some players out but we have the squad to be able to manage these kind of games.”

The Blues have a better away record than at Goodison Park this season, joint third best with Aston Villa, and behind Leicester City and Manchester United. What can the manager attribute this to?

“All the teams had the advantage with playing away behind closed doors. This is the reason we’ve won more games away than home, at home we don’t have the support of our fans, and away the opponent does not have the support of their fans. This is quite simple.”

Questions continue to be asked about James Rodriguez’ physical condition and whether he he needs to build up his strength to handle the challenges of the English game.

“He has to train properly, as he trained the last week, and he has to play to keep a good condition. The fact that he played 99 minutes in the cup helped him to have a better condition for the future, this is for sure.

“No I don’t think so that he has to improve his physical side. He has to keep his quality at the top, and his quality is not physical. As I said when we signed him, we didn’t sign him because I wanted more physical power in the squad, but for more quality.

There are players with quality and there are players with physicality, and the work of a manager is to try to put this quality and physicality, football quality and mental aspect together to build a team.”