Carlo Ancelotti has warned Jordan Pickford his form must improve during face-to-face talks with the erratic Everton goalkeeper.
Ancelotti admitted he questioned the attitude of every player involved in Sunday’s dire defeat at Wolves and demanded a reaction against Aston Villa on Thursday. The manager also took Pickford aside at Finch Farm to discuss the England international’s inconsistent performances and revealed the keeper accepted the criticism.
“He’s not doing well,” said Ancelotti. “I spoke to him about this yesterday. There is absolutely no problem. For the quality that he has, and he agreed, he has to be better. He has to be focused on himself, on his performance, day by day to be better. I’m not so worried because he has quality, he has character, but I have to say to him, and I did say to him, that he has to improve.
“I and everyone else at the club has total confidence in his quality. It is true he can do better and he knows this because he is critical of himself. I hope there is improvement in the next games.”
Everton have been poor in their past three games but the manner of defeat at Wolves marked a new low for Ancelotti. “When there is no fight I think this is not the DNA of this club,” he said.
“My style is to have a direct relationship and direct communication with the players. I speak with them for a lot of reasons – technical reasons, tactical reasons, behavioural reasons; a lot of things. In the last few days we have focused on the attitude. Today in training I have seen a different attitude and I hope that tomorrow it will be the same in the game.”
The captain, Séamus Coleman, suggested in a post-match interview on Sunday that commitment was lacking on a daily basis at Everton. Ancelotti responded: “No, I don’t have to say this, but to move on from a difficult moment you have to improve the commitment. This is the way.
“I am quite happy with the effort the players put on the pitch but there are some moments during a season where you have to improve your commitment, your concentration and your motivation to move on from a difficult moment. The player has to understand that it is quite usual in football to have difficult moments. The key is to be able to move on quickly and fast, and to change the attitude quickly.”