Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti was not getting carried away after his side’s 1-0 win at Sheffield United put them second in the Premier League on Saturday, the Italian maintaining that grabbing a place in Europe is the height of their ambition.
Everton, who now sit two points behind leaders Liverpool though having played a game more, recorded their ninth win in 15 league games despite missing a host of key players due to injury.
Gylfi Sigurdsson’s goal 10 minutes from time gave Everton the win and ensured they will finish in the top four during the Christmas holiday period for the first time in 16 years.
Ancelotti paid tribute to the battling qualities of his side, saying: “We’re second for the spirit of this team, the motivation and ambition the players have for this season.”
“We’re not the top team but we are a solid team. This, in my opinion, is a really good quality for a team,” he told the club’s website.
While Everton are hot on the heels of the defending champions, Ancelotti said the goal for the season had not changed.
“The ambition and target is the same for the season: to reach a position in Europe.”
Everton, who last won the English top flight in 1987, were missing several “important” players including James Rodriguez, Lucas Digne and Allan, but Ancelotti said there was no reason to add to the squad in the transfer window.
“With these players back we can still have a good season, we don’t have to think about the January transfer window,” Ancelotti added.
There is little time for Everton to savour their lofty position in the Premier League as they are straight back into action on Monday with the visit of Manchester City.
“We are there [second], we are pleased to be there but we don’t have a lot of time to think about it,” said Ancelotti.