Everton are not title contenders, insists boss Carlo Ancelotti

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has ruled his side out of this season’s Premier League title race.

The Merseysiders, who face Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday, sit sixth in the table but have games in hand on all of the top three.

Some Everton fans have taken to social media to question why their club have not been spoken of as genuine contenders in the most open title race for years.

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has said Everton cannot be discounted with Ancelotti at their helm, but the Italian does not agree.

“Honestly, we don’t have in our mind a title race,” he said. “We have in our mind, and I said at the start of the season, to fight for the European positions.

“Now we are in a good position and we want to stay there. It depends on us to stay in a good position.

“I think to talk about a title race in this moment is too much for us.”

Ancelotti did acknowledge that the Premier League was more competitive and exciting than ever this season.

“You see the table, at the top there are a lot of teams who are not used to staying there, like West Ham, Aston Villa, Everton also,” he said. “In this moment Chelsea and Arsenal are not there, but they will be.

“The level, physically, tactically, technically, it’s really high in my personal opinion. It is exciting to watch the games.

“I watch all the time games on TV, as all people do in this moment because you cannot go to the theatre or the restaurant, you have to stay at home and watch games on TV.

“The only problem is there are no supporters at the stadium, but the quality and intensity of the games, I think is at the top level.”

Everton will bid to reach the FA Cup fifth round for the first time in five years at Goodison Park on Sunday.

They needed extra-time to scrape past Rotherham in the third round and Ancelotti expects another tough test.

“We hope to have less difficulty in this game, but we have to know it will be difficult because in the FA Cup there will always be surprises,” he said.

“We don’t want to be the negative surprise. We have to approach the game well because we didn’t do against Rotherham.

“Sheffield Wednesday are coming with all the strength that they have. They are a strong team, physical team and they want to compete with us. We have to be ready for this.”