Carlo Ancelotti has stressed the importance of Everton showing a “strong reaction” to their loss to Sheffield United when they host Wolves on Wednesday with fans back at Goodison Park.
Ancelotti has spoken of the need for “a good attitude and spirit” in the contest that comes three days on from the 1-0 home defeat to the relegated Blades that he said on Sunday had left him feeling embarrassed.
With coronavirus restrictions easing, Wednesday’s fixture is set to have a crowd of 6,500 Toffees fans in attendance.
Everton boss Ancelotti told a press conference: “I think the key point is the attitude and the strong reaction that we want to show, above all because we have the supporters back. It will be important to show them a good attitude and a good spirit.”
Sunday’s loss left Everton eighth in the Premier League with two games to go, three points behind sixth-placed Tottenham and seventh-placed West Ham with a considerably inferior goal difference.
Ancelotti, whose side conclude their campaign with a trip to Manchester City on Sunday, said: “We don’t have a lot of possibility, but we still can have the dream for Europe – only if we are able to win these two games.
“So (we need to) really focus there. We are so disappointed about the game on Sunday and I would like to see a reaction from the team.”
Everton have earned 37 points from away games this season and just 18 at their own ground. Sunday’s result made it nine home league defeats this term, the joint-highest amount the club have ever had in a season.
Ancelotti described it as having been “really an unacceptable run” at home, and said: “It is difficult to explain how we were so good away and so bad at home.
“Away, all the time we showed strong spirit and sacrifice. Maybe this is the reason – when we are forced to sacrifice, to be focused, concentrated, we did so well. When we were not so focused and so forced to sacrifice we had a lot of problems.”
He was then asked why he, a three-time Champions League-winning manager, had not been able to solve the problem, the Italian said: “Because I am not a magician, I am only a trainer.
“It is difficult for me to explain this double face of the team. If we were able to keep the same run also at home we could win the title.
“When we don’t think that sacrifice on the pitch is necessary, we are wrong, and we lost I think most of the time for this kind of reason.”
He added: “We have to improve the quality of the squad for next season, this is for sure. But you can play football in different ways. You can get a result not only with quality.
“It’s true I won a lot of trophies, but I don’t know how many trophies I won for the quality, instead of the spirit, attitude, sacrifice, concentration, personality. So it is not only a matter of quality.”
Ancelotti also emphasised that there was a strategy for summer recruitment, with the Italian saying that a winger is “one of the positions we are looking for”.
He said: “We have to follow our plan. It was a good plan last season, when we signed good players and we have to do the same. To improve the squad, we don’t have to do a revolution.”
Defender Yerry Mina (adductor) and forward Joshua King (hamstring) are available again after injuries.