Ancelotti highlights Ferguson impact as Everton winning run continues

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has praised former caretaker boss Duncan Ferguson for sparking the revival in form that has helped the Italian to victory his first two matches in charge.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored twice as Everton won 2-1 at Newcastle on Saturday, meaning Ancelotti is just the third Toffees manager to win his first two Premier League matches after Joe Royle in 1994 and David Moyes in 2002.

The victory at St James’ Park also extends the team’s unbeaten league run to five games incorporating three matches under Ferguson, who was placed in caretaker charge following the dismissal of Marco Silva at the start of the month.

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Everton were in the relegation zone at that stage but the former Toffees striker led the team to a victory over Chelsea as well as draws against Manchester United and Arsenal to lift them into mid-table.

Speaking after the win in the north east Ancelotti was keen to highlight the impact of the Scot, who has since been promoted to the role of assistant manager.

“I am happy. The team played well. I am pleased, it was a difficult game,” the former Chelsea boss told BBC Sport.

“We started really well, Newcastle pushed a lot but we won showing a good performance. The team is improving and that is important.

“The players are trying to adapt, they want to change a lot. The job Duncan Ferguson did was fantastic. The spirit was strong when we arrived.

“Dominic Calvert-Lewin is playing really well. The second goal was a big part of Richarlison. It doesn’t matter if you score or not it important to work as a team and they did.”

The battling victory was also Ancelotti’s 50th win as a Premier League manager in just his 78th match, making him the fifth fastest manager to reach that milestone.

It lifts Everton up to 10th in the Premier League and within five points of fifth, highlighting how congested the table is given the Toffees were perceived to be in a relegation battle just a few weeks ago.

Despite their upturn in form Ancelotti is not getting carried away and is only focused on the next game, which happens to be a trip to champions Manchester City on New Year’s Day.

“We want to play games, good games, try to play well. This is our goal,” he said. “Of course the table is important but we have to focus on the next game. We need to have confidence because we have won. The last result for the team was good. We have to try our play our best.”

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