Ancelotti Outlines Requirements To Exploit 'Great Derby Opportunity'

Carlo Ancelotti says Everton must summon a display filled with “character and sacrifice and personality” to beat Liverpool on Sunday.

Manager Ancelotti acknowledges the scale of his side’s challenge against their city rivals but insists returning to action with a Merseyside derby represents a “great opportunity” to reignite the Blues' campaign.

Everton last played competitively at Chelsea more than three months ago and are now confronted with a run of nine games in five weeks.

Ancelotti is convinced his players are physically and mentally prepared to tackle a congested calendar – beginning this weekend with the visit of Liverpool to a near-empty Goodison Park.

“I think we have to play a perfect game, showing character and sacrifice and personality,” said Ancelotti.


“It will be difficult but we have to consider it as a great opportunity to show our quality and come back to the Premier League with a good performance… to try to win and to do our best.

“Our goal… is to do our best and try to reach a good position in the table and, if it is possible, to fight to play in Europe next season.


“For us it is important to gain points and improve our position in the table.

“I am pleased the game is at Goodison Park [but]… no one is pleased to play games without supporters.

“Nobody knows how the players will react without supporters, it is a mental aspect, we will see.

“It could be really important for our team and for others.

“We know how our fans supported us during games but we have to respect the rules.

“It is the right procedure and everyone has to stay safe, then, I hope soon, we can have supporters in the stadiums.”

Ancelotti won both his opening games after being appointed back in December, maintaining the momentum generated by caretaker boss Duncan Ferguson.

The Italian remained faithful to Ferguson’s policy of playing with two strikers, too – and will resist any urge to alter Everton’s style over the remainder of this campaign.

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09:51 Mon 15 Jun 2020

EVERTON FORWARD BERNARD SETS RESTART GOAL

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Predominantly employing Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison as his central strikers, Ancelotti saw the pair combine for 12 goals in nine league games together.

Equally, Ancelotti’s team produced an 18-point return from 11 matches to remain in touch with the division's top-six positions.

The one fixture of his embryonic tenure Ancelotti reflects on with disappointment is Everton’s defeat at Chelsea immediately before lockdown – an anomaly he is keen to avoid being repeated.

“We did not forget that result or performance,” said Ancelotti.

“I hope we can show different ability and quality in this game [against Liverpool].

“[There will be] no tactical changes. During lockdown we were showing players videos and giving them physical training at home.

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03:44

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“We are not going to change our structure, until the end of the season we will follow the style from the games before lockdown.

“The players came back well. We had some problems when we had collective training in the first week but after that everything was okay.

“In the past three weeks we did not have any problems.

“We trained like normal and had no problems preparing for this game.

“Physically the team is in good condition and motivated.”

Ancelotti confirmed the meeting with Liverpool will come too soon for Yerry Mina and Fabian Delph, that pair both sidelined by muscle injuries.

Theo Walcott is in the early stages of his rehabilitation following abdominal surgery, while Jean-Philippe Gbamin is a long-term absentee.


Andre Gomes, however, is available after overcoming a minor knock and Ancelotti – who also addressed the issue of senior Club figures and players agreeing salary cuts or deferrals following the coronavirus outbreak – admitted he is thrilled to be able to call on the Portuguese midfielder, who missed nearly four months this term after hurting his ankle.

“It [wage cuts and deferrals] was a voluntary decision to help the Club and the employees of the Club," said Ancelotti.

“In my opinion it was right to try to help all the people we need in this period.

“It was the correct decision.

“The Club and all the people working in the Club are showing a lot of unity.

“The Club is working really hard in the community with the Blue Family and every one of us is really happy to be involved [in that campaign].”

Ancelotti added: “It is important for football to come back. It is not the most important part of our lives but it is important.

“It can give happiness… when we had the possibility to come back, we were really pleased. Now we are back and I hope soon everything will be absolutely normal.”