Carlo Ancelotti says Everton must be ”excited” by the challenge of facing derby rivals Liverpool at Goodison Park on Saturday (12.30pm), as the Blues boss revealed the aspect of management he enjoys the most.
Everton have made an exceptional start to the 2020/21 season, racking up seven straight victories in all competitions.
Only once in the Club’s 142-year history have the Blues kicked off a campaign with a longer winning streak.
Everton began the 1894/95 season with eight straight wins, with the final game of that run a 3-0 Merseyside derby triumph at Goodison.
Ancelotti says Liverpool will provide a stern test on Saturday – but insists the quality and character of his Everton team will ensure they approach the game with confidence.
“We have to be focused to do our best, excited and happy to play our game,” he told evertontv.
“We don’t need to have pressure, we want to play the best game we can play.
“All the games are difficult.
“This is more difficult because we are going to play against the team that won the Premier League last season.
“It is a derby, and they are a quality team.”
Ancelotti acknowledged the influence of Everton’s summer signings in the Blues’ outstanding start to the season.
Dynamic midfield duo Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure, Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez and rampaging full-back Niels Nkounkou have made key contributions during the Toffees’ winning run.
Everton further strengthened their squad on transfer deadline day with the additions of England Under-21 defender Ben Godfrey from Norwich City and goalkeeper Robin Olsen on loan from Roma.
Ancelotti’s explained, however, that his squad’s collective appetite for self-improvement and application on the training field has underpinned Everton’s progress under his leadership.
“Every day, they are focused, with good motivation, serious,” he added.
“I think the atmosphere is very good. It doesn’t matter how many minutes the players play, they are involved. I see them train really well.
“I think the players who arrived did a really good job, they adapted really well.
“The new players would not be able to make the steps we have made this season alone – they have had the help of all the others that came here after holiday [following last season] with a different attitude and motivation.
“It’s important to keep the quality of the training high. This is only due to the attitude of the players – if we have motivation and we are focused, then the quality of the training is good.”
Ancelotti added working with his squad at USM Finch Farm is the element of his role from which he gains the most job satisfaction.
He said: “The training pitch [is what I enjoy the most].
“The biggest part of my job is to improve the Club and achieve the results. And I can reach the result by improving the players.
“I want to improve the players to give them more knowledge, but the target is to get results for the Club."
The Italian also emphasised how the vocal support of Evertonians at Goodison and on the road is significantly missed.
“Of course, I would like to have the supporters in the stadium in this period,” he said.
“It is not possible. We are still waiting to have our fans at Goodison Park.
“Our supporters are missed in this period, because it is a good period and to celebrate a victory together would have been fantastic.”