Carlo Ancelotti is keen to see greater ‘consistency’ from Everton and has discussed criticism of leading scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Everton travel to face Brighton this evening looking to get their push for European football back on track, the Toffees without a win in their past three Premier League fixtures following last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.
The draw with the Eagles at Goodison Park continued the club’s inconsistent home form, Everton having won just five of their 15 league fixtures on Merseyside during the 2020/21 campaign so far.
The clash with Crystal Palace saw forwards Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin criticised for spurning several clear-cut opportunities, the latter enduring a performance to forget in front of goal.
Calvert-Lewin has enjoyed the best season of his career to date and has 19 goals in all competitions for Everton so far this season, though Ancelotti says criticism of his performance was ‘fair’ and says the forward must continue to work on improving his game.
“I spoke with Dominic about the situations he had in the game,” he told the media ahead of Monday nights game. “We tried to improve the situation, we have worked on this, but to be criticised is absolutely normal and sometimes it is also fair.
“After the game I said Dominic Calvert‑Lewin and Richarlison could do better in these situations and they know this, absolutely.
“I don’t think they were happy after the game, they were really disappointed after the opportunities they had. You have to accept the critics sometimes, no problem. I think Dominic accepted it. He understood the problem and he has worked on this in the week.”
Everton currently sit eighth in the Premier League table, eight points adrift of the top four and Champions League places with two games in hand on the sides above them.
The weekend’s results have made the race for Champions League football ever tighter with just four points separating third-placed Leicester and Liverpool in sixth, and Ancelotti insists Everton must find ‘consistency’ if they are to remain in the hunt for a top-four finish.
“I think with more consistency obviously we would have a better position in the table. But also we didn’t have consistency at home, so it is a good position for us considering how we were last season. Last season we were closer to the relegation zone than the top.
“Considering all this and that we didn’t have good consistency at home we are in a good position and we fight for the target we had at the start of the season. We said we were inconsistent at home but really consistent away – away we won really important games, the derby for instance.
“We have to wait a little bit to see if we are able to reach the European positions at the end of the season and if we do this it will be a fantastic season.”