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Carlo Ancelotti excited by challenge of making Everton compete with the best

Everton v Liverpool – Premier League – Goodison Park
(Image credit: Jon Super/NMC Pool)

Carlo Ancelotti admits it is a challenge to make Everton competitive with the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ but it will be a “fantastic success” if he can achieve it.

The Toffees’ remote hopes of qualifying for Europe, let alone the Champions League, this season took a dive following Thursday’s home draw with Southampton.

Historically their head-to-head record with Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham is woeful and, having been overtaken in the table by the likes of Sunday’s opponents Wolves, Sheffield United and even Burnley, the challenge of revitalising the club’s fortunes has become tougher.

Asked if it was one of his most difficult jobs in management, the Italian said: “Most difficult? Every single year, because every single year I had difficulties and I try to work and move on.

“Every year I think a manager has difficulties. You can have more difficulties than other years, but difficulties and problems are an important part of your job.

“An important part of your job is to solve problems and problems are always behind the door.

“I feel it is a challenge. It was a challenge in all the places I have worked.

“It is an exciting challenge because the project here is really interesting and I am involved in this project 100 per cent.

“I say it is an exciting challenge because if I am able to bring Everton to fight to compete in the top positions in the Premier League it will be a fantastic success for me.”

The immediate challenge for Ancelotti is to get his side back on track after one point from their last two matches left them meandering in mid-table with European qualification seemingly now out of reach.

Wolves, who themselves have had a wobble with back-to-back defeats, present a significant test and the Everton manager does not think the schedule has helped his side.

“The fact they had one more day (rest) is important,” he added.

“We don’t have enough time to recover, so I have to take care of the line-up as I have to put in fresh players.

“Probably we are not physically 100 per cent, so we have to play an intelligent game. Of course we have to play well in both situations, offensively and defensively.

“Defensively we have to do better compared with the first half (against Southampton). We have to be intelligent to manage the situation of the game.

“It will be tough, for sure. Wolves are fighting for Europe, so I expect a really tough game.

“We don’t have a lot of chance to stay in the fight (for European qualification), but we want to keep fighting and keep going until the end of the season.”