Delph's Challenge For Blues

Fabian Delph believes Everton’s Carabao Cup progress can serve as the catalyst for a productive Premier League run.

Marco Silva’s team host Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday fresh from beating Watford in midweek to set up a home cup quarter-final tie against Leicester City.

Midfielder Delph – who owns a trio of League Cup winners’ medals from his time at Manchester City – returned to the side in midweek after sitting out Everton’s league victory over West Ham United and coming off the bench at Brighton & Hove Albion, where the Blues lost 3-2 last week.

Everton cracked Watford’s cussed resistance on Tuesday when Mason Holgate headed home after 72 minutes and Richarlison strode through to add the Blues’ second in stoppage time.

Manager Silva’s side will now target a third win on the bounce at Goodison Park, where Everton have won eight and drawn one of their past 11 fixtures.

“We needed to step up against Watford after not getting the points we wanted at Brighton – and as well as getting the job done we needed a good performance,” Delph told evertontv.

“In the first half, we weren’t as sharp and fluid as we’d have liked but after half-time we fought and got the job done.

“You have to look at each game as it comes and the aim is to go as far as we can in the cup and win the thing.

“I am fortunate enough to have won this competition three times – it is a good one to win and hopefully we can keep that form going in the cup.

“But, ideally, we need to start picking up more points in the Premier League because we should be in a much better position than we are currently.”

It was a measure of Everton’s superiority over Watford that the primarily deep-lying Delph hit 37 of his 65 passes in his opponents’ half.

Indeed, Delph had more touches (74) than any other midfielder on the pitch as he sought to dictate the flow of the contest.

Centre-half Holgate’s 77 passes, meanwhile, was the highest number attempted by any of the game’s starters. Equally, he was the only player accurate with more than 90 per cent of his distribution – Holgate locating his mark with 93.5 per cent of those passes.

The 23-year-old has been ever present in the Carabao Cup this term and started his first Premier League match of the campaign at Brighton.

Silva was wholesome in his praise for Holgate after the player capped an accomplished display against Watford by netting his first Everton goal.

And England international Delph has been similarly impressed by his fellow Yorkshireman since joining from City this summer.

“It is very important for guys to step up and it’s probably the best I’ve seen Mason [against Watford],” said Delph.

“I’ve been really impressed with him in training and was happy he came in and did a good job.

“I am delighted for him.

“I spoke to him at the start of the season.

“Every player wants to be playing and I said to him, ‘I have played football a long time and sometimes you have to be patient and when your chance comes take it’.

“And, so far, he is taking his chance.

“If he can keep that form going, I am sure he will get a run of games.

“It is good for him and good for the Club.

“It is healthy, competition wise, and I am pleased for him.”

Delph added: “I try to encourage and help the guys as much as possible and they do the same for me.

“I speak to Mason quite a bit – but I am pleasantly surprised how vocal he is.

“On the pitch, he is very vocal, he is giving a lot of information from behind which helps.

“He reminds me of myself in terms of having a big mouth!

“As long as he keeps performing and communicating, it’s only going to help him improve as a player.”