Carlo Ancelotti has urged his Everton gamers to embrace ambition in a battle for European locations that he expects to go right down to the ultimate day of the Premier League season.
After Monday’s 1-0 win over Southampton, Everton can transfer into the highest 4, quickly at the very least, in the event that they beat West Brom at The Hawthorns on Thursday evening.
Ancelotti performed down their possibilities of qualifying for the Champions League after a 2-0 home defeat to Newcastle on the finish of January, the primary of three consecutive house league defeats which raised questions of their credentials.
Nonetheless, regardless of these stumbles, Ancelotti mentioned there was no hurt in elevating expectations on his gamers.
“We’re happy to be within the struggle,” he mentioned. “We’ve got to make use of our expectations as a motivation. If expectations are excessive, it’s completely regular at a membership with unbelievable historical past. We need to be again there as they had been up to now.
“Expectation will not be a foul phrase in my view. It’s a good phrase. It retains you motivated. I believe it is necessary to have ambition.”
Ancelotti had urged his gamers to take Thursday’s alternative of “touching” the highest 4, even when he admitted he had not realised fairly how temporary it is likely to be.
Even when Everton win, they’d be rapidly overtaken ought to both Liverpool or Chelsea declare three factors later within the night.
“I forgot there was that recreation and possibly Liverpool or Chelsea could be within the high 4, nevertheless it does not matter,” Ancelotti mentioned. “We wish three factors, it is very important keep within the struggle.
“I am certain this case with the European positions will probably be determined within the final recreation and we need to be there till the final recreation.”
Everton will probably be favourites to take their alternative in opposition to West Brom, however current defeats to Newcastle and Fulham function cautionary tales in opposition to sides in and across the battle on the backside.
It has taken time, however West Brom are exhibiting indicators of bettering underneath former Everton boss Sam Allardyce and go into the sport on a three-game unbeaten run, having stored clear sheets against Burnley and Brighton of their final two outings.
“I believe West Brom are taking part in now how Allardyce needs them to,” Ancelotti added. “They’re robust defensively, robust involved and present good organisation.
“It’s not a coincidence they didn’t concede of their final two video games, even when they had been just a little fortunate that Brighton missed two penalties.
“The defensive consistency is there and to search out alternatives won’t be simple for us.”
Everton benefitted significantly from the return of Allan in opposition to Southampton, with the Brazilian midfielder making his first look since mid-December.
Nonetheless, following such a protracted spell out, his situation have to be checked earlier than he will probably be thought of for a second begin within the house of 4 days, whereas Ancelotti was unsure if any of James Rodriguez, Seamus Coleman, and Tom Davies may return after lacking Monday’s match.