Marco Silva says the gap of 17 days between Everton’s last fixture against Watford and Tuesday’s trip to Cardiff has been a welcome one for his squad.
Prior to that enforced interval, the Toffees played five times in 15 days, including three matches in a week.
With the break in fixtures, Silva says his squad has used the time wisely to target specific areas of their all-round game, before rounding off with the usual attention to detail in preparations for the clash with the Bluebirds.
Silva has also called for his players to enjoy their football, starting with the trip to the Cardiff City Stadium, knowing that will aid them in their bid to return to their best.
“We have had time to work on some important things,” he said. “We had a busy period before [the break] with three games in seven days. So it has been a good time to speak with the players and prepare ourselves and work on aspects of our game.
“The main thing for us to carry on like we were [earlier in the season],” he added. “Of course, we are not happy with our last form and the results. When you look at the table, my players and I are not happy with that either.
“We have to look for the situations and it is my job to explain to the players why certain things are happening and to help us get back to playing in our way. It is something we have already done this season and I hope we can see again. It is for that that we are working.
“I believe we have the quality to do that again.
“We have to look at each match as an opportunity for our players to enjoy it and play with confidence. I know that if they do that, we will perform again at the level we did before.”
The break has also allowed the likes of Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines to return to training with the squad.
“Phil has been back working since the start of the break,” added Silva. Leighton, too, has been back but is a little bit doubtful [for Cardiff].
“He has worked with us for the last two days and will be monitored. We have one more session so we will see how he is and I will make my decision.”