Premier league Coming back to fitness
Everton lost 1-0 at home to West Ham on Friday, ending a four-game winning streak, in a match that marked the return of James Rodriguez and boss Carlo Ancelotti is confident that the Colombian star will improve as he regains full fitness.
James came off the bench to replace Bernard in the 64th minute but didn’t make much of an impression on the game.
“It’s important to have James back…he didn’t train much and only played 30 minutes against West Ham,” said Ancelotti. “He needs to improve his condition and he will be better in the coming matches.”
Friday’s loss continued Everton’s poor home form this season and Ancelotti believes his side are suffering from not having the backing of their fans in the stands, while benefitting from the same situation away from home.
“This season we are very strong away from home, we’re great,” said Ancelotti. “We’ve had more trouble at home.
“With fans we wouldn’t have lost the three games against Manchester United, Leeds and West Ham, but perhaps we wouldn’t have won five away.”
James hasn’t been Everton’s only injury concern of late and Ancelotti is hoping to take advantage of the cup tie against Rotherham on Saturday and the gap between now and the next league game – against Wolves on the 12th – to get a few more players nearer full fitness.
“It will be an important time to recover and get all those who haven’t trained much lately in better condition: James, Richarlison and Lucas Digne, who will be back soon,” said Ancelotti.