Ancelotti unimpressed with Everton's lack of fight

Carlo Ancelotti's Everton side is all but out of the race for Europa League qualification and was beaten 3-0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.

Carlo Ancelotti

Manager Carlo Ancelotti feels Everton has lacked fight since its hopes of qualifying for Europe faded.   -  Reuters

Everton has lacked fight since its hopes of qualifying for Europe faded, head coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Wednesday, adding that he was still surprised by how poor his side has been recently.

Everton, 11th in the standings on 45 points with three games to play, is all but out of the race for Europa League qualification and was beaten 3-0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday, its third game in a row without victory.

“I agree, it's three poor performances,” Ancelotti told a news conference ahead of Thursday's home game against second-bottom Aston Villa. “First of all, I think that we didn't have a lot of time to recover properly.

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“Second, we lost a little bit of fighting spirit. Maybe the fact that it's quite difficult to reach the position of Europe, I think the players lost a little bit of motivation and concentration. I was surprised.”

The Italian has spoken to his players about their attitude and expects a reaction against Villa.

“It's not acceptable,” Ancelotti added. “We expect... a different attitude, different mentality, different character.

“A big part of the DNA of this club is that everyone wants to see players fighting. It's the most important part. When there's no fight, that's not the DNA of this club.”

Defender Mason Holgate and midfielder Andre Gomes, who were out with shin and ankle injuries respectively, will return for the game at Goodison Park but centre back Yerry Mina misses out with a muscle problem.

Fighting for spot

Ancelotti also said goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is not doing well after a number of error-strewn displays but backed the England international to rediscover his best form.

The 26-year-old Pickford, who has made seven errors directly leading to goals in the Premier League since the start of last season, was guilty of another erratic showing against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

With Burnley's Nick Pope pushing to replace Pickford for England, Ancelotti was asked if his shotstopper needed more competition at club level to improve his performances.

“I don't know if he needs competition. I know that he's not doing well. I spoke to him about this. He has to be focused on himself, on his performance, day by day to try to be better,” Ancelotti told reporters.

“I'm not so worried because he has quality, character, but I have to say to him and I've said to him, that he has to improve. I have, and everyone else at the club have, total confidence in his quality."

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