Carlo Ancelotti says his biggest priority at Everton right now is improving his side’s home form.
The Toffees have been basking in the glow of the 2-0 Merseyside derby win at Anfield.
They face Southampton at Goodison Park tonight and the Saints have not won in their last eight Premier League matches.
On paper, that provides Everton with a great opportunity to build on last month’s win, but Ancelotti told the club website that he wants to work on his side’s home form.
“The biggest priority for us in this moment is to improve our form at Goodison Park,” he wrote in his programme notes.
“There were too many times this season when we were not good enough in home matches and our work since we won at Anfield was focused on correcting this issue.
“It is difficult to understand because away we have been really strong, playing with spirit and personality and some quality to win a lot of points. We would not have lost so many games at Goodison with our fans.
“While the situation remains like this, with no supporters in stadiums, we must find a solution. We are showing the attitude of a big team. We never have to be afraid. I can see the players believe it’s possible to fight for victory in every match.”
Everton have endured frustrating home losses to strugglers Newcastle and Fulham in recent weeks.
That has undermined the effort to get into the top four and as Ancelotti says, it has to improve before the end of the season.
Ancelotti referenced the lack of fans as an issue – but there’s also a tactical element to it.
Everton’s gameplan right now is better suited to playing on the road, when there’s more onus on their opponents to come out an attack.
Against a Southampton side struggling for form, Everton have to get the show back on the road at Goodison.
Nigel Martyn speaking to Everton News: Archive