Carlo Ancelotti has told his Everton players to win back the trust of their fans with their performances when they face Brighton on Saturday, and condemned Fabian Delph’s angry row with Toffees fans on social media after defeat to Liverpool.
Last Sunday’s FA Cup defeat to a youthful Liverpool side at Anfield led to an angry response from the stands, with a handful of supporters turning up at the club’s training ground on Monday seeking to confront the players.
Sunday’s 1-0 loss was a second straight defeat for Ancelotti, denting the momentum he generated with wins in his first two games in charge, but he is looking to get that back at Goodison Park on Saturday.
“I understand the frustrations of the supporters, this is normal when we lose a derby,” Ancelotti said.
“I hope tomorrow the atmosphere in the stadium will be good. We need the support, we need a great performance tomorrow to react well after the defeat and that’s it.
“Against Burnley the atmosphere was fantastic and I hope we can keep this atmosphere by playing a good game, showing good spirit and intensity and good quality of football.”
Everton’s director of football, Marcel Brands, spoke to those supporters who turned up at Finch Farm on Monday to listen to their concerns, and Ancelotti – no stranger to such protests after years spent in his native Italy – said he would be happy to do the same.
“It’s normal,” he said. “I can speak with them if they want, I have absolutely no problem.
“Now we need the fans because we have a great opportunity to improve in the table in the next game when we play at home, so I hope tomorrow everything will be OK.”
However, Ancelotti did draw the line at the response of midfielder Fabian Delph, who got involved in a heated argument with one fan on social media.
“I spoke with him, we spoke, me and the club, we spoke and said it was a mistake,” he said.
“He shouldn’t react to this, but after the game everybody was frustrated so sometimes you react emotionally. Of course that is not good but I think everyone can understand.”
Ancelotti will go into Saturday’s game without the services of Cenk Tosun after allowing the striker to join Crystal Palace on loan, but indicated there was nothing imminent in terms of new players arriving at the club – dismissing reports he was looking to replace England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
“After January 5 we had a positive meeting and if there is a possibility to improve our squad we are going to do it,” he said.
“I have the total support of the owner, the board, and the director of football. If you want to know the names, I don’t want to mention the names but all the names that were in the papers are wrong.
“There is no (specific) area. But I read that I’m looking for a new goalkeeper. This is not true. I have a great goalkeeper that is the goalkeeper of the national team. We are not looking for a goalkeeper.”