Marco Silva has called on his Everton team to display attitude and character against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, insisting the players “must show strength with and without the ball”.
The Toffees will be aiming to build on a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Huddersfield Town on Tuesday night and head into the game at Goodison Park just one position and two points behind seventh-placed Wolves. A win would therefore see Everton leapfrog Nuno Espirito Santo’s team in the Premier League table.
Blues boss Silva is anticipating a tough test against the Midlands club, who have impressively made the step up to top-flight football having been promoted from the Championship last season.
Silva, who revealed Idrissa Gana Gueye (groin) and Leighton Baines (rib) face late fitness tests, emphasised his team must deliver a strong all-round performance at the Grand Old Lady.
Phil Jagielka and Yerry Mina will both miss the match through injury, while Lucas Digne is suspended.
“It will be a good test for us, not just offensively or defensively but in both aspects,” he said.
“We have to play at our best level with strong attitude and strong character to achieve the three points.
“We have to be stronger than them in all moments of the match.
“When we have the ball, we have to do what we have planned and prepared to create the chances to score. When we don’t have the ball, we have to be strong, too. We have to be ready in all the moments.
“We know they are strong in the counter attack. When we have the ball and are trying to create chances to disorganise them, we have to take care.
“It will be tough. But they will come here and think the same thing – that it will be difficult for them to play against us and to play at Goodison.”
Brazilian forward Richarlison’s third-minute strike proved decisive against Huddersfield last time out.
The Blues also displayed impressive resilience at the John Smith’s Stadium, seeing out the victory despite Digne’s 66th-minute sending off.
Boss Silva has now urged his side to build on their success in West Yorkshire and seal back-to-back Premier League wins.
“It was really important [the win against Huddersfield],” he said.
“It was a tough afternoon for us last Saturday [the FA Cup defeat at Millwall], it was a really disappointing result for us.
“Just three days after, if you can achieve a good win, with a clean sheet also, it is really important.
“Now we have another game, at Goodison, and we hope for a strong atmosphere in our stadium – pushing our team to go forward and win our second game in a row.
“It will be difficult against a strong side but we have to do our best to win the match.”