Everton manager Marco Silva believes he and his players can find a solution to a malaise which continues to dog his side.
The Portuguese criticised his team after Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat to newly-promoted Sheffield United for not having strong enough personalities and being too nervous after conceding the first goal.
Having a soft underbelly is not a new slight for the Toffees, it has surfaced many times under different managers since the departure of David Moyes in 2013.
But after three defeats in five matches, with one of their two wins in that time coming against Sky Bet League One Lincoln, Silva’s side already appear to be entering a key period.
Everton have to face more Sheffield steel in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup third-round tie at the city’s Championship club Wednesday, ahead of a weekend visit of a rampant Manchester City and a trip to Burnley the week after.
The manager was asked whether he had the required characters within the squad to rise to the occasion.
“We have. We have the conditions inside the club to solve this situation,” he said.
“It is up to me to keep talking with them, it is up to me to keep working with them.
“It is not easy to change the players’ personality so fast. It is a clear sign when something comes wrong for us, it is not new, not just in this (latest) game.
“It is something we spoke about again at the end of the match. They understand what we spoke about.
“More than the words, we have to show on the pitch.”
Fans view the League Cup as the most likely chance of enjoying success and ending a trophy-less run dating back to 1995.
But the club’s record in the competition is woeful. In the last 31 seasons they have failed to get past the fourth round 29 times. On the other two occasions they reached the semi-finals.
Just 15 places separate Everton – who sit 14th in the Premier League – with Wednesday, who are ninth in the Championship, and the gap could easily be closed on the pitch if Saturday’s jitters return at Hillsborough.
It is why Silva has called on his players to “be Everton” tomorrow.
Explaining further he said: “To work to win a football match and to go to the next round.
“We should go there with the attitude to win the game and play better than the opponent if you can.
“We have high targets and high goals we have to put into this competition. We have to look forward to it because it is a really important game for us.”
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