EPL: Ancelotti backs Everton to overcome defensive issues

Everton have the quality in their squad to compensate for the absence of injured defenders Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne but there is still room for improvement, manager Carlo Ancelotti said on Friday.

Club captain Coleman has resumed individual training after shaking off a niggling hamstring problem while Frenchman Digne is sidelined with an ankle issue.

Everton visit 19th-placed Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday and Ancelotti backed his side to cope with his system of playing three central defenders instead of a back four.

“I think it’s an emergency, without two important players. It’s only for this reason. We have the quality in the squad to play with three centre backs because we have a lot of good centre backs,” Ancelotti told reporters.

“We’re good offensively, we had problems defensively. Every game is a test to see how we are and tomorrow I hope we can be better on this aspect.”

Everton snapped a run of three straight league defeats with a 3-2 win over Fulham last month but crashed to a 1-0 home loss against Leeds United last weekend.

They have slipped to eighth place with 16 points from 10 games, conceding 10 goals in their last five.

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“Of course the result was not good against Leeds, but it was an open game. We want to stay attached to the top of the table so it’ll be important to have a result tomorrow,” Ancelotti added.

“They (Burnley) are better now compared to the start of the season, we know what kind of game to expect.”

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