Ancelotti's New Year Message To Evertonians

The new year target for everybody at Everton is to continue our progress towards consistently competing with the Premier League’s top teams.

We made improvements in the past 12 months and, I think, it is clear Everton is a team with personality and spirit and the right attitude.

The position in the table is really good. We didn’t expect this at the beginning of the season but the ambition from all of us is to stay there.

We are performing strongly because the players are motivated to do something special.

Even when we had a difficult period, they kept faith in our idea.

It is too soon to say we are on the level of the teams challenging for the title.

They all had periods of developing and growing before being established at the top.

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In terms of our time together, we are a young squad, learning what we can achieve by sacrificing and playing with courage.

We are working to reach the standards of teams like Manchester City, who are used to winning titles and cups.

It is clear there is a gap but we want to close it as soon as possible and have taken some steps this season.

In this busy spell, the games come too quickly to look too far ahead.

The objective is to remain concentrated and keep fighting.

In the Premier League, if you lose focus or allow your intensity to drop, you will pay the price.


We had an unexpected rest when our match with Manchester City on Monday was postponed.

From me and everybody at Everton, we send our best wishes to Manchester City.

I hope everybody at the club who is affected by coronavirus can fully recover as quickly as possible.

It is another reminder that we are still living with this virus and nobody is immune.

We all need to continue following the advice and protocols and stay vigilant.

It was encouraging to see how we reacted to a big test at Sheffield United on Boxing Day.

They play with physicality and high intensity and also have some players with attacking quality.

We expected to have few opportunities and, in those situations, you must stay patient.

It is a sign of a confident team with tactical understanding when you can do this. It can be tempting to try to force an opening, which risks leaving you exposed.

Our discipline and organisation were good, we stopped them having many chances and showed we are a solid team, which is a vital quality.

Sheffield United make it difficult for you to create but we found a solution near the end and the finish from Gylfi showed the composure of the player.

Gylfi is a great professional. He is helping us offensively and defensively – we moved him deeper in midfield before his goal – and he can improve even further, I think.


We are proving we can adapt without some big players.

Tom Davies replaced Allan, who is important for us, for our most recent league match at Goodison, against Arsenal, and did really well.

He had a big part in our plan at Sheffield United being successful, also, and I can see Tom is always ready to help the team.

We welcome David Moyes and the staff and players of West Ham United.

Everybody at Everton knows David’s ability as a manager and the performances of West Ham this season are really good.

They have character and players with different skills and had some fantastic results.

Away from home they won at Leicester City and Leeds United and they recovered from 3-0 down to draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

It will be another close match and for us to win a third successive league game at Goodison Park our effort and belief will need to be at the highest levels.

Our away form has been stronger than at home this season but the reason for this, I think, is we were playing without supporters.

I am sure that with Evertonians inside Goodison we would have won more matches.

The atmosphere you created against Arsenal pushed us and made a difference in the game – exactly like the Chelsea match one week before.

We can feel you with us fighting for every ball and for the players this passion and commitment provides extra energy.

I want to wish every Evertonian and all your friends and families a happy and safe 2021.

We will put everything on the pitch to try for a perfect start to the new year.

The latest Everton Matchday Programme also features fascinating exclusive interviews with Jordan Pickford and former Toffees midfielder Stuart McCall. David Unsworth provides an insight into his new role as Director of Academy, Everton Women boss Willie Kirk explains why goalkeeper Sandy MacIver can be “the best in the world”, and you can learn more about Under-23s defender Con Ouzoundis as he answers questions on all manner of subjects in our ’Randoms’ feature.
 
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