Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti hailed specific human qualities of his side that made a welcome return after claiming they were “dead” without them.
Everton hauled themselves back into the mix for European football after earning a hard-fought 1-0 victory over West Ham. Dominic Calvert-Lewin bagged the game’s only goal, showing great composure to score where others throughout the game lacked quality in critical moments.
The victory moves Everton to within a single point of Tottenham in seventh with a game in hand, and just two points behind local rivals Liverpool in sixth.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Ancelotti said:
Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti to Sky Sports: “The spirit was good, attitude good. We defended really well, it was not easy. But we covered the spaces in between well and tried to play on the counterattack.
“In the second half we could do better but it doesn’t matter. All the times when we have won away it is this this kind of performance, and with this we have won 11 away games, this is a lot.
“We knew it was a vital game because if we lost we are out [of European contention] no doubt because West Ham would go up, so it was vital and we are still in the fight.
“I’m not concerned about the possession West Ham had because possession doesn’t mean you score goals.
“We are not a possession team because we have different qualities. The correlation between possession and victory is not for football, it is for a another sport.
“We knew that this was a vital game and there is another on Thursday against Villa and we have to be ready.
“The attitude is the base of this team, without the attitude we are dead.”
Calvert-Lewin reveals plan came to fruition
Everton goalscorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin also spoke to the press, telling Sky Sports: “It was a tough shift, we had a few chances and mainly sat behind the ball. We dug in. It wasn’t pretty but for the effort we put in we deserved it.
“It was about determination, hard work, sticking together, and that’s what got us the three points.”
Regarding his decisive goal, the England hitman said: “We knew we could expose them in behind so we worked on it in training. I’ve just timed the run perfectly and Godfrey has put in a perfect weight of pass, and it was one touch and finish.”
On Everton’s European, Calvert-Lewin added: “I think every game is getting more important from now until the end of the season, so we simply have to keep believing and go into every game trying to win.
“This game is gone now. We have taken three points and we go onto the next one with the same intensity, the same attitude.”