Boss David Unsworth has vowed to pick “the right, strong team” to lead Everton to victory in Europe on Thursday night.
The Blues take on Atalanta at Goodison knowing they can no longer progress from the group stage of the competition.
But Unsworth insists he will be “fully respectful” to Everton fans by fielding an XI who will go out to play for the famous Blue shirt. And with a Premier League clash at Southampton to come on Sunday, the former Toffees defender says a win against the Serie A outfit can help build confidence after bagging four points from their past two league matches.
“We are going to pick a team to win, and we will pick a strong team and one we feel is the right team,” said Unsworth.
“We will be respectful to our fans because whoever turns up with our fans tomorrow, we put on the Everton shirt and be fully respectful of that so we will pick a team to win.
“We need to perform and we need to win. You’ve got to have those foundations and those building blocks and I think we have had that and got better each game.
“We have won a game and drawn a game and this is another game tomorrow night that we want to win. We represent Everton and every time you pull on that famous Blue shirt we have a responsibility to do that.”
The Toffees gave their season a huge lift with a 3-2 comeback triumph at home to Watford before the international break, following that up with a 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace on Saturday, having trailed twice.
Unsworth wants that momentum to continue against Atalanta ahead of three Premier League games next week, starting at St Mary’s on Sunday and followed by home matches against West Ham and Huddersfield.
“It’s about keeping that going,” he added. “That’s one thing we spoke to the players about this morning. We want to win the game and we go into the game preparing exactly the same. For me, it is not any different to a Premier League game, a cup game, it doesn’t matter. It is a game that we represent Everton and that is really important that we put on a performance and try to win.”