Everton Boss Gives Team News Update

Frank Lampard has confirmed Demarai Gray is not yet ready to feature for Everton in Saturday’s Premier League clash at Southampton (3pm GMT) – but says he is hopeful the winger and Abdoulaye Doucoure could return in next weekend’s home game against Manchester City.

January signing Vitalii Mykolenko will be available to return to the matchday squad for the Southampton game.

Influential midfielder Doucoure was fit enough to take part in the warm-up of Thursday’s training session at USM Finch Farm as he continues to make positive progress in his recovery from a groin injury. Gray will miss out on the Saints match with the hip problem that kept him out of last weekend’s convincing 3-0 win over Leeds United.

Lampard added he expects Ben Godfrey (hamstring) and Fabian Delph (thigh) to be ready to make their injury comebacks in “two or three weeks”.

After a review from specialist consultants, Yerry Mina will not require surgery to repair a high grade quadriceps tendon injury - and will instead be managed conservatively by the Club's medical department on his journey back to full fitness.

Tom Davies (hamstring) is also a longer term absentee.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday afternoon, Lampard said: "Vitalii Mykolenko is back. Demarai Gray won’t quite make this weekend, but we are hopeful for the following week [against Manchester City].

“Doucoure trained with us today, which was his first integration into a proper session since his injury. Hopefully over the next week we can see a strong progression and he can be available for next weekend.

“Ben Godfrey is getting closer. Hopefully we’re on schedule for that, which means two or three weeks. Fabian Delph will be similar. 

“Yerry Mina is a bit longer, he is just starting the [rehabilitation] process.”

Everton will go into the Southampton contest buoyed an excellent all-round display against Leeds last Saturday.

Lampard's team played with energy, desire and quality to overwhelm their west Yorkshire opponents in front of a rollicking Goodison crowd.

Asked whether the nature of the Blues' impressive performance will see him select the same starting XI for the Saints game, Lampard replied: "There’s an argument for going ‘same again’ but we felt similarly going into the Newcastle game [following the 4-1 FA Cup win over Brentford] and it didn’t quite work, so it’s not a statement of fact.

"The players have to feel through the week that they can find their way into the team, or if we have to change our approach depending on the opposition. Leeds and Southampton are two very good teams but in lots of different ways.

"The good thing is we have players who have played well and others who are hungry to get into the team. That’s the environment you want."