Carlo Ancelotti says Everton’s productive early-season form is a result of training ground “intensity and focus” – and the manager is urging his team to maintain the momentum gained from four straight victories.
Everton beat Fleetwood Town 5-2 on Wednesday to progress to a Carabao Cup fourth-round tie with West Ham United next week.
Ancelotti made six changes from the side which defeated West Bromwich Albion by the same scoreline on Saturday.
But Everton were in complete control in the opening 45 minutes at Highbury Stadium to lead 2-0 following a pair of Richarlison goals.
Fleetwood responded with strikes from Mark Duffy and Callum Camps either side of Alex Iwobi netting Everton’s third, before Bernard and Moise Kean scored in the closing stages to kill off the League One team.
“It was a good performance, in general, and a very good first half, with good spirit, good football and good concentration,” Ancelotti told evertontv.
“The second half was more difficult, we didn’t start well and conceded the goal.
“After that we were a little bit worried.
“But at the end the performance was quite good.
“The squad is doing well, there is a good atmosphere on the training ground.
“They are working with intensity and focus.
“The quality of football up front is good and we have fantastic strikers.
“The moment is good and we have to make all the effort we can to keep this momentum.”
Everton visit Crystal Palace on Saturday seeking to maintain a 100-per-cent winning start to their Premier League season following victories over Tottenham Hotspur and West Brom.
West Ham come to Goodison next week – the date for the match is yet to be confirmed – with a Carabao Cup quarter-final berth at stake.
Ancelotti had made 10 changes for last week’s second-round success against Salford City.
He scaled back on his rotation for the game at Fleetwood, who had won their three previous home games this term.
The Italian did, however, alter his midfield lock, stock and barrel.
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IWOBI BUOYED BY BLUES SQUAD
Gylfi Sigurdsson, Fabian Delph and goalscorer Bernard all came in, with Jonjoe Kenny, Niels Nkounku and Alex Iwobi all getting – and taking – chances to impress.
Delph played 62 minutes before being replaced by Tom Davies on the England international’s first appearance since 23 February,
“Fabian adds experience and knowledge,” said Ancelotti.
“He is a really important player, with experience of playing at the top level.
“It was a comfortable performance for him and he did well.
“He was comfortable on the pitch and helped his teammates.”
Ancelotti added “We want to be there until the end of this competition.
“It is a short competition, important, we are happy to be there and want to continue to be there.
“It will not be easy. But now we will focus on the Premier League.
“We started well and have an important game on Saturday.”