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Ancelotti urges Everton to stay on a high

Blues boss wants a victory over Southampton on Monday after the Anfield win, positive stadium news and Lucas Digne’s new contract

Liverpool v Everton - Premier League
Carlo Ancelotti led Everton to their first Anfield win since 1999 last weekend
Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti wants his Everton side to keep the club’s good news coming when they host Southampton on Monday night.

Everton won at Liverpool on Saturday for the first time since 1999, while this week saw their new stadium plans unanimously approved by Liverpool City Council, as well as a new four-year contract for Lucas Digne.

And speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday, Ancelotti reflected on a hugely positive week for the club, and spoke of his determination to maintain that feeling on Monday:

“A lot of good news in the last few days. We are working to keep the good news every day. It was a good result, it was a good step forward for the new stadium, and Lucas Digne signed a new contract.

“The players are really focused on where we are. They know where we can be, and they know what they have to do to be, at the end of the season, in a position to play in Europe next season.”

Everton were excellent in their 2-0 victory at Anfield, ending a hoodoo against their neighbours which lasted 22 years and 23 visits.

It stretched their unbeaten away league run to eight games, too, but at home, they have lost their last three and have not won in the Premier League since mid-December.

And Ancelotti felt the derby win showed Everton what they are capable of when at their best, and urged his side to channel another encouraging away showing into Monday’s clash at Goodison Park:

“Of course, the result was really good, the performance also. We showed we can compete. Now, we have to look forward because we have another game.

“Our run at home was not good in the last period. We want to fight for the European positions; we have to improve our run at Goodison.”

Everton welcome a Southampton side who were sixth when they last won on January 4, but have since taken one point from their following eight league games.

They were most recently beaten 3-0 at Leeds United on Tuesday, but Ancelotti has still been impressed with their performances of late, and said Everton can ill-afford to make the mistakes which cost them against the likes of Fulham and Newcastle at Goodison:

“It’s true that, in the last games they played, they haven’t got results, but they played with a strong intensity, with a high pressure. They’ve played quite well, in my opinion, but they didn’t have the results.

“We have to pay attention, to ask what we are able to do at home that was not good enough against Fulham, against Newcastle. I think we are really focused there.”

Having only been afforded places on the bench at Anfield, Ancelotti added that Allan and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have now recovered from their respective injuries to the extent that both are now able to start matches for Everton again.

He did not give a time frame on when Jean-Philippe Gbamin may return, but said he believes Yerry Mina could return in a fortnight:

“Allan and Dominic are OK. They are training regularly. I think they are available to play from the beginning, for sure.

“Gbamin is progressing well. We don’t know exactly when he can be back to train with the team. Yerry Mina also - I think he will be out for at least two weeks.

“We don’t have a lot of games until the end of the season, so we have to be ready to fight in every game, because every game, as we know, is really complicated and difficult, and we have to be ready.”