Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 August 2019

Gylfi Sigurdsson credits Marco Silva with morale boost at Everton

Liverpool side, who host Watford on Monday night, are seventh in Premier League table since manager's summer appointment

Gylfi Sigurdsson, right, paid tribute to manager Marco Silva for Everton's run of form in the Premier League. Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images
Gylfi Sigurdsson, right, paid tribute to manager Marco Silva for Everton's run of form in the Premier League. Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

Gylfi Sigurdsson has credited Marco Silva with bringing a feel-good factor to Everton.

Toffees manager Silva has guided the club to seventh in the Premier League table since his summer appointment.

The Portuguese welcomes former side Watford to Goodison Park on Monday evening.

Iceland international Sigurdsson feels Everton are going in the right direction under their new manager.

"I think if you ask any of the players, they are enjoying working with the new manager," the 29 year old told the club website. "He wants us to play attacking football, to work hard without the ball and press.

"There is a good understanding within the players."

Silva brought six new outfield players to Merseyside during the summer.

Brazilian duo Richarlison and Bernard were joined by commanding centre-backs Kurt Zouma and Yerry Mina, as well as left-back Lucas Digne and Portugal midfielder Andre Gomes.

Sigurdsson, the club's record signing, feels the arrivals have injected speed and creativity into the team.

"The new players have been fantastic. They have helped us score lot of goals, with a lot of creativity going forward and speed," he added.

"I think all the players who have come in - not just the attacking players, the centre-halves and Lucas as well - have been fantastic and fitted in really well.

"They suit the way the manager wants us to play.

"It feels natural playing with the guys now and that comes with the work we've been doing on the training pitch."

Monday's visit of the Hornets kicks off a busy festive period for Everton.

Sigurdsson, who has hit six league goals this term, expects a stern test from the Hertfordshire side.

"Watford is going to be another tough game," he added. "They have a good squad, but we are focused, and we want to get back to winning ways.

"We have been happy with how we have played in the last few months.

"If we can go through December in January in good form then we'll hopefully be up there in the table."

Meanwhile, Javi Gracia would speak to Stefano Okaka about his Watford future should the Hornets field any January offers for the Italy striker.

Okaka has featured just twice in all competitions this season, with Isaac Success and Troy Deeney bossing Watford's forward line.

And Hornets manager Gracia has conceded he would talk through any offers with the 29 year old.

"I would like to speak with Stefano or with any of the players about transfers when that moment arrives," Gracia said. "But in this moment he's one player for us, and he's only focused on trying to help the team in this moment.

"We have time to speak about different situations in the future."

Watford will bid to get back to winning ways at Everton, following a run of just two victories in 11 league encounters.

Gracia insists his side are dominating opponents but lacking a killer instinct, and has challenged his players to sharpen up in front of goal.

"I am still demanding, and know we have a lot of things to improve," Gracia said. "But if you ask me about the level of the team or the way we are playing, I can tell you, I really think maybe we deserved more in some games we have played.

"But the only way to change this situation is working hard and trying to improve the things we can do.

"It's clear in the last games in some of them, we have dominated possession, chances, set-pieces.

"We've controlled the game, but we didn't finish, we didn't take the chances we had.

"We need to be more efficient and try to keep the same attitude in our defensive work, and all the different facets of play."

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Updated: December 9, 2018 07:49 PM

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