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Ancelotti: no Mina and Rodriguez for Villa visit

The Everton manager will be without the Colombian duo for tomorrow’s game, but hopes to have them back for Sunday’s match against Sheffield United

Everton Training Session
Both Mina and Rodriguez will miss Everton’s game at Aston Villa tomorrow with minor injuries
Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed Everton will be without both Yerry Mina and James Rodriguez for tomorrow’s trip to Aston Villa.

Mina was substituted due to injury in the second half of Sunday’s win at West Ham, while fellow Colombian Rodriguez has not featured since sustaining a knock in the warm-up before last week’s home defeat to Villa.

And as well as longer-term absentee Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Ancelotti has ruled both Mina and Rodriguez out of Thursday’s Villa Park clash.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Wednesday, he said:

“Compared to the game against West Ham, we have Yerry Mina out for this game. We still have James out, and we have Gbamin out. The others are available and fit to play.

“He [Mina] had a problem on his adductor. It’s not a big problem. He tried to train yesterday but he was a little bit uncomfortable. I hope to recover him for the game against Sheffield United.

“I think he [Rodriguez] will start to train with the team on Friday, so I hope that, on Friday and Saturday, he will train properly and can play against Sheffield United.

“He’s pain-free now; he has no problem, but he didn’t train with the squad, so I cannot put him at risk tomorrow.”

Tomorrow’s game with Villa comes only 12 days after the reverse fixture, in which a poor Everton suffered yet another home defeat.

But Ancelotti stressed that his side will not deliver such an error-strewn performance as in that 2-1 loss when they face Villa again tomorrow:

“We have learnt to play and to avoid the defeat. It was one of the worst performances we’ve had in the season. Of course, we have to play differently, and we are going to play differently.

“I counted ten easy mistakes in the first ten minutes of the game against Aston Villa. Easy passes wrong, lost duels, not in position - it is not going to happen tomorrow, for sure.

“The team has improved [this season]. We have more knowledge, more confidence. We’ve had fantastic results away, so our season has to be considered a good season. We are still in the fight for Europe and we want to put all our energy into our target.”

After Leicester’s win at Manchester United on Tuesday, Everton are now nine points off the top four with four games remaining.

Ancelotti conceded that Champions League qualification is now out of reach for the Blues, who are currently eighth, but will go level on points with fifth-placed West Ham with victory tomorrow.

He added that his squad, comprised of many players who have not played in Europe previously, are still hungry to compete in European competition next season, regardless of which tournament they end up qualifying for:

“Top four is not a possibility four us; we have to be honest. We can fight for the other positions; I don’t know which we can reach, but we have to get as many points as possible.

“We have difficult, important games. It’s a vital game against Aston Villa tomorrow, as was the game against West Ham. We know this, and I hope the team will be able to repeat the same performance.

“I think that at the start of the season, we were thinking it was difficult to compete with the top six, and after all these games, we were able to compete. We are still there; close to the top.

“Of course, the results at home could have been much better, but we did a fantastic away run. It was impossible to think we could win 11 games away. I think the position where we are now is the position we deserve.

“I think the team has a strong motivation for Europe. Most of them have not played in European competition, and have a strong desire to be in the competition next season, so it is a fantastic motivation for every one of them. I support them, but I don’t have to be strong because they are already really strongly-motivated.”