Carlo Ancelotti rues Everton complacency against struggling teams

Andy Hunter
·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Carlo Ancelotti has said Everton’s first win at Liverpool in 22 years will be a turning point only if his team find the same motivation and focus against every Premier League opponent.

Everton host Southampton on Monday seeking to build on a long-awaited win at Anfield with their first home league victory of 2021. A sequence of four defeats in the past five Premier League home games has included 2-0 losses to struggling Fulham and Newcastle, and Ancelotti admits complacency has crept into his players when entertaining sides below them in the table.

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The Everton manager said: “When you play a derby against Liverpool, a top team, it is easier to find the concentration and the motivation. It is more difficult when you have to find the right concentration and motivation in other games, and we have to work on this. It is not easy. We have to push ourselves to be more focused and more motivated, but we have to do it.

“My players are intelligent, they know we had problems in the past and we want to solve these problems. The run away was so good but we understand that, at home, we have to do better. We have the possibility against Southampton and we don’t want to make the same mistakes as we made in the past games at home. A derby is a special game but this game has the same value. The points on the table are the same.”

Richarlison played a key role in the 2-0 win at Anfield, where he got a fourth goal in four games, having scored only twice in his previous 16 appearances. The Brazilian has been potent at centre-forward but Ancelotti, who has Dominic Calvert-Lewin fully fit after a hamstring problem, maintains that is not Richarlison’s best position.

“I think he cannot play centre-forward [all the time] because he is really good at attacking the line and, to play centre-forward, most of the time you have your back to the goal,” he said. “I think for him centre-left is better. He has more difficulty to find solutions as a winger, that is true, but centre-left, for me, is the best position.

“He likes to play centre-forward but because he is young he plays where I tell him to play. Maybe when he is older he is going to ask to play centre-forward.”