Everton put in a performance “more in our image as a team” against Manchester City - and Marco Silva has challenged his squad to carry that through into Saturday’s fixture at Watford.
The Blues are looking to match the display to the result after putting in an energetic showing against their north west rivals yet still falling to 2-0 defeat.
Jonjoe Kenny spoke of the “aggression and work rate” that earned the Toffees a rousing reception despite the result against City, and Silva has called on his side to match their intensity from Wednesday night against the Hornets.
A win at Vicarage Road could lift Everton above the Hertfordshire-based outfit in the Premier League table, with the Blues winning 19 of the 27 meetings between the two clubs.
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“It wasn’t just the defensive performance [that was better],” said Silva when asked about Wednesday’s display at his press conference at USM Finch Farm. “We as a team did a lot of things differently.
“I am not just talking about quality and performance. In all the moments of the match, it was clear that it was more in our image as a team.
“Of course, the result was not what we wanted or what we desired as a team. But I took some positives.
“What I expect and what I hope is that we will keep seeing improvements in our squad, and for that to help us get a good result. We are working to achieve that.”
Silva made five changes to his starting line-up, with top goalscorers Richarlsion (10) and Gylfi Sigurdsson (nine) dropping to the bench.
The Blues boss has not ruled out making changes to his team for the trip to Vicarage Road, especially given the quick turnaround between the match against City and Saturday.
“When I took the decision about who to start in the last match, it was clear to me what was our best XI for that game,” he added.
“We take into account the strategy, the condition of our players and when I have these details, I take the decision.
“We cannot put all the pressure on one, two or three players or expect them to go all season in their best form.
“This weekend will again be really tough for us, and not just about managing the physical conditions of our players because we had a shorter time to prepare after the City match.”