Fabian Delph has explained how “first-class” Carlo Ancelotti provided unstinting support during his time out injured - and revealed his excitement about playing in an Everton side performing with such quality and confidence.
Having made his first Toffees appearance in seven months in last week’s 5-2 win over Fleetwood Town, Delph played the full 90 minutes as Everton beat West Ham United 4-1 on Wednesday night to progress to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.
The Toffees delivered another expansive attacking display to record a sixth straight victory – the Club’s best winning streak at the start of a campaign in 82 years.
Delph delivered an accomplished midfield performance against West Ham.
The 30-year-old was composed and precise in possession, recording a pass accuracy rate of 91 per cent.
His renowned combativeness was also on show as he won four tackles – a total not bettered by any Everton player
“It’s been a hard, hard period for me [being injured],” Delph told evertontv.
“Seven months of ups and downs. The medical team have been fantastic, though.
“I’ve been doing a lot at home as well, recovery wise, and I’m finally starting to feel a lot better.
“My relationship with the manager has been first class. He’s never put pressure on me to rush back, he just wants me back 100-per-cent fit so I can help the team.
“It’s been a tough period but hopefully now I can get a clear run and help the team as much as I can.
“I had a run out last Wednesday [against Fleetwood] and the plan was to play 70 or 75 minutes against West Ham but, with the unfortunate injuries we picked up, I managed to get 90 minutes under my belt.
"I thoroughly enjoyed it and I feel good, so happy days."
Over the course of Everton’s six-game winning run, the Blues have scored 20 goals and conceded just six.
Delph paid tribute to the collective impact of the Club's summer signings – Allan, James Rodriguez, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Niels Nkounkou – and explained how their arrivals have given the squad a significant boost.
He also outlined how manager Ancelotti’s tactical approach is getting the best out of each player.
“We obviously made some fantastic signings and the rest of the lads seem to have upped their game as well,” he added.
“It’s going really well at the minute. The strikers are doing their jobs, scoring goals, the midfield is working hard and the defenders have been pretty solid. Long may that continue.
“I think the system suits us better, especially with the personnel we’ve brought in.
“There seems to be more belief, more confidence. Everybody is flying in training – everybody’s bang at it.
“We’re taking that into the games and, like we’ve seen, the last few performances have been top drawer.
“After the West Ham game, I was speaking to Dom [Calvert-Lewin] in the dressing room. I said to him, ‘When we were under the cosh a little bit, to be honest, I was just waiting for you to score again’.
“I had a feeling he was going to score, or James was going to find that [killer] ball or Richi was going to get a goal.
“Or Alex [Iwobi] or Gylfi [Sigurdsson] could come on and make an assist.
“The belief is there that players are going to make something happen.”
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ANCELOTTI ON A POSITIVE NIGHT FOR EVERTON MEN AND WOMEN
Calvert-Lewin hit his second hat-trick of the campaign in Everton's comprehensive victory over West Ham.
The red-hot striker has now scored eight goals in just five appearances this term.
Fellow Yorkshireman Delph’s response was emphatic when asked whether Calvert-Lewin should be named in the England squad, which will be announced on Thursday afternoon.
“He’s on fire so 100 per cent, he should be in that squad,” said Delph, who has won 20 senior caps for England.
“He’s earned the right. He’s been Mr. Consistent.
“What I’ve noticed about him is his work-ethic in training, in terms of putting the ball in the back of the net.
“He’s not trying a trick, he’s just putting the ball in the back of the net.
"He’s getting into good habits and I think he deserves an England call-up. Fingers crossed for him.”