Bernard: Intelligent Blues Keen To Perfect Silva Model

Bernard says the desire of Everton’s “intelligent players” to implement Marco Silva’s fearless brand of football is helping the team gel in quick time.

Manager Silva added six outfield players to his squad after being appointed in May and has seen every one of them launch their Goodison Park careers on a positive note.

Bernard joined from Ukranian team Shakhtar Donetsk on the eve of the season and marked his full debut by setting up a goal for Richarlison in Everton’s 2-1 win at Leicester City back in October.

Midfielder Andre Gomes was last-but-one of the half-dozen new boys to come into the team – and after overcoming a hamstring problem to play against Crystal Palace seven weeks ago, the Portuguese international has emphatically sustained the narrative of Silva’s signings hitting the ground running with their new club.

Asked if he was surprised how swiftly a significantly-changed side was coming together in the image of its manager, Bernard told evertontv: “It is no surprise at all for me. We are mostly experienced players – but even with the young players, look at Richarlison and how quickly he adapted to the Premier League.

“This is a dedicated group of players that listens to the manager and puts into practice what he asks for on the field.

“They are great players and it is quite easy when you have intelligent players like these, all constantly looking to improve and put into practice Marco Silva’s instructions.”

Bernard started seven Premier League matches in succession before he was used as a substitute against Newcastle United on Wednesday.

The Brazilian is forging a potent left-sided alliance with Lucas Digne, another who has shone since arriving in the summer – along with fellow defender and countryman Kurt Zouma and Colombian centre-back Yerry Mina, who has played every minute of Everton's fixtures following his first start in last month’s scoreless draw at Chelsea.

Left-back Digne was excellent again in the clash with Newcastle on a night when Richarlison netted his seventh goal of the season to ensure Everton extended their unbeaten Goodison run to a fifth match.

The prevailing mood following the game, however, was one of frustration that the Blues had not converted a dominant performance into victory.

Digne did as much as anybody to try to turn one point into three. The Frenchman created four chances – more than any other defender in the Premier League’s midweek games.

He supplied five successful crosses which was two more than any other top-flight player and had 115 touches of the ball, fewer than only three of his divisional counterparts, Gomes [118] among them.

Bernard came on for the final 21 minutes and could potentially rekindle his relationship with Digne from the start when Everton welcome Watford to Goodison on Monday.

“We are developing a strong understanding, without a doubt,” said Bernard. “Lucas is a really intelligent player. He loves playing with the ball at his feet and we have been looking to combine since we started playing together.

“We are on the same wavelength, so he knows where to play the ball and where to pass.

“It is important to have players like him and our understanding will only get better.

“I am adapting to the Premier League and dedicating myself to improving, so I can continue to progress and impose myself on matches.”

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