Ancelotti Spies 'Great Opportunity' For Everton

Carlo Ancelotti says Everton must “look forward” and seize a “great opportunity” to climb the Premier League table.

Everton host a “dangerous” Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday aiming to stretch their unbeaten Goodison Park top-flight run to a fourth game.

Manager Ancelotti won his first two matches at the helm after being appointed four days before Christmas.

Victories over Burnley and Newcastle United, however, were followed by defeat at Manchester City on New Year's Day.

Everton welcome Brighton six days after the disappointment of an FA Cup defeat against Liverpool.

Ancelotti admits that loss was a bitter pill to swallow. But the former AC Milan and Bayern Munich boss insists this weekend’s game can act as a launchpad for a strong end to the campaign.

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05:37

FLASHBACK: RICHARLISON DOUBLE SINKS SEAGULLS

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“We have to look forwards,” emphasised Ancelotti.

“We have a great opportunity to improve our position in the table.

“I understand the fans’ frustrations, it is normal when you lose a derby.

“I hope tomorrow [Saturday] the atmosphere will be good. We need the support of our fans and a great performance to react well after the defeat [against Liverpool].

“We have worked well this week and I hope tomorrow we will give a good performance.

“And most importantly try to win.

“Nothing changed [in terms of ambition]… we did well in the first two games [under Ancelotti] and have the opportunity in the next few games to improve our position.

“Our target is to go up the table.”


Ancelotti, who delivered a positive bulletin on the continuing recovery of midfielder Andre Gomes
, joined Everton with the team tracking an upwards curve under caretaker Duncan Ferguson.

Ferguson, now assisting the new manager, oversaw victory against Chelsea and draws with Manchester United and Arsenal in his three Premier League matches in charge.

Ancelotti maintained the trend with Dominic Calvert-Lewin-inspired wins over Burnley at home and away against Newcastle United.

The loss at champions City came despite a late rally from the visitors but Ancelotti conceded spirits were low in the aftermath of Everton's second successive defeat and consequent FA Cup exit last week.

The 60-year-old is nonetheless adamant his squad’s morale and ambition has not been harmed long-term.

Everton travel to West Ham United one week after their Brighton test and also clash with Newcastle at home before the month is out.

“The spirit in the squad is good,” said Ancelotti.

“There was disappointment over the game against Liverpool but we have to look forwards.

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00:25 Sat 04 Jan 2020

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“Against Burnley the atmosphere at Goodison was fantastic and I hope by playing well we can keep this atmosphere – and show good spirit and intensity in the game and a good quality of football.

“We will get better and better in the next games, in my opinion."

Brighton are three places and one point below Everton but have impressed plenty of observers with their bright football under manger Graham Potter this term.

They have won two and drawn three of their past seven league games, with Ancelotti particularly noting a 2-1 success at Arsenal last month.

He added: “Brighton is a team which likes to play football.

“They build from the back and have quality,

“They are a team I like.

“They are a dangerous team, they won against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

“But our players are focussed and I hope with good spirit and intensity we have the possibility to win.”