Silva: Confident Everton recapturing 'fantastic' early season form
Marco Silva says Everton have rediscovered full confidence in a "fantastic run" resembling the club's fast start to the Premier League campaign.
Phil Jagielka's 10th-minute goal secured a thoroughly deserved 1-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday that lifted the Toffees to a third straight win and second in succession against a big-six opponent at home.
Silva's men had begun the season with a promising five-match unbeaten streak before all momentum ebbed away in a lean December that included four defeats, two draws and a solitary victory.
Three successive losses followed in February but a 17-day break galvanised Silva's side and their hopes of achieving Europa League qualification remain alive with five games to go.
"We are in a fantastic run now apart from the last 30 minutes [of the 3-2 defeat] against Newcastle United," Silva said.
"The first three months of the season we had a very good run. We showed fantastic moments of football.
"Of course we had that busy period in December and January, not good months for us at all. We lost some confidence.
“We fully deserved the three points.”— Everton (@Everton) April 7, 2019
“Our players fought and played with quality.”
“Everyone worked together for the clean sheet.”
“It is everything a coach wants to see”
Safe to say Marco is a happy man this evening! #EFCMatchday
"The long break after that was really important - we had time to work on some details that are really important for us, because in those two months the details were working against us.
"We worked on that and the results are helping our players with confidence. The performances are helping us also.
"It's fantastic for us when we can play away against West Ham, play against Arsenal, and our goalkeeper can have very calm afternoons. It's a fantastic sign for our team."
Silva was involved in a heated touchline exchange with Unai Emery during the second half but said he was not aware Mesut Ozil, by then substituted, had thrown a coat in his direction amid the scuffle.
Both coaches played down the incident in their post-match media conferences with the Toffees boss preferring to pay tribute to match-winner Jagielka, who became the oldest goal-scorer of the Premier League season to date when he bundled home following Lucas Digne's long throw.
The 36-year-old former England international was only elevated to the starting XI due to Michael Keane's late withdrawal through illness.
"Jags showed how he is prepared to give everything the coach and his team-mates need from him," Silva said.
"He deserves all the credit and it was great for him to get the winning goal."