Tuesday 18 December 2018

Silva wants Everton to sparkle against Southampton

The Toffees opened their Premier League campaign with a 2-2 draw at Wolves.

Marco Silva wants to be impressed by Everton this weekend (Dave Thompson/PA)
Marco Silva wants to be impressed by Everton this weekend (Dave Thompson/PA)

By Phil Medlicott, Press Association Sport

Marco Silva wants Everton to deliver “something special” this weekend in their first competitive home game under his management.

The Toffees, who opened their Premier League campaign with a 2-2 draw at Wolves, face Southampton at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Silva took charge over the summer after a 2017-18 season during which there was considerable discontent among Everton fans about performances under his predecessor Sam Allardyce.

When asked on Friday at his pre-match press conference how much he was looking forward to the Southampton game, Silva said: “Really, I am looking forward (to it). It will be very good, for sure.

“Of course, we have to give our fans something special.

“(And) for me, it will be very important – my first Premier League match at Goodison as the manager.

“I’m sure they will be behind us every time and will support our players, and with them behind us and with them supporting our team, we will be stronger, for sure.”

Yerry Mina will sit out the match because of injury, but fellow new arrivals Kurt Zouma and Bernard could make their Everton debuts.

Silva said of the defender recruited on transfer deadline day from Barcelona: “I can tell you Mina is not available for the match.

“He is recovering from a small problem in his foot. I hope next week I can give some updates to you about the situation.”

With captain Phil Jagielka to begin a three-match suspension after his red card in the Wolves game, Silva said regarding Zouma “it is between him and Mason (Holgate)” in terms of a replacement at centre-back.

Andre Gomes, Everton’s other arrival last week, is not yet available as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury.

Silva said he expects the midfielder to “start training with us maybe next week, or in a week and a half, and after that, we’ll see how he reacts.”

Silva also said “everything is OK” with Richarlison, who scored a debut brace against Wolves before coming off due to cramp.

Meanwhile, full-back Cuco Martina has departed, joining Stoke on a season-long loan deal.

And when asked if Muhamed Besic and Yannick Bolasie were expected to leave as well, Silva said: “We’ll see.

“Of course, we have a big squad in this moment and we have to take some decisions.

“Some of the players, like is normal, they want to play more minutes. Our board is working on that situation and we will see if we have some more updates in the next few days.”

Press Association

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