Yerry Mina says Everton are “getting better every day” under the tutelage of distinguished manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Centre-back Mina has come into his own at Goodison Park this season and last Saturday inspired Everton’s fightback from 2-0 down to beat Watford.
He scored twice deep into the first half, opening the door for Theo Walcott to win the game and leave Ancelotti reflecting on a return of 14 points from his opening seven games in charge.
Mina insists a large slice of the credit for Everton’s renaissance should be directed towards their Italian boss, who will target a fifth Premier League win from eight matches when Crystal Palace visit Goodison on Saturday.
“We are getting better every day and working with this manager is brilliant,” Mina told evertonfc.com.
“Carlo Ancelotti is a top manager and coach and a good friend.
“He is with the players all the time and always smiling.
“This is special because if you have any issues, you can tell Carlo.
“It is important that you can express yourself.
“Carlo is approachable and you can speak with him in his office to find solutions for anything.
“This is important not only for me, but for all the players.
“We are a good team and a family. We have to stay together to continue improving and achieving good results.”
Everton have claimed 19 points from 10 matches, winning five and drawing four, in the period stretching back to Duncan Ferguson’s caretaker reign in December.
That sequence – which featured a single defeat at Manchester City – has elevated the Blues to ninth in the Premier League, four points adrift of Tottenham Hotspur in fifth.
Victory over Palace this weekend would lift Everton another two positions, with a blockbuster quartet of games, against Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool, scheduled for directly after the forthcoming winter break.
Mina, who has six goals from 24 appearances for national team Colombia and was a relatively consistent scorer for Palmeiras in Brazil, admits he was overdue his double at Watford.
But even if he’d like to add to his two-goal tally for the campaign, the 25-year-old’s primary focus is on helping Everton emerge from their next batch of fixtures poised for a tilt at European football.
“I am a defender and the priority for me is clean sheets,” said Mina, who has played 36 times in the Premier League since signing from Barcelona in summer 2018, 23 of those appearances coming this season.
“But I want to score more.
“If me and other players [in addition to the strikers] can score, it helps the team and the most important thing is to be winning games.
“We continued showing good things at Watford, mainly in the second half, but we need to be consistent.
“We have to continue this form and these results if we want to qualify for Europe.
“The mentality of the players has helped us put together this run.
“We are good friends and a family, this is what brings players closer and makes them happy.
“And if a player is happy, he can give his best.”