Everton injury update: latest on Yerry Mina and Lucas Digne, Rafa Benitez makes Antonio Conte Spurs admission

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The Toffees are again struggling in terms of availability ahead of Spurs’ visit.

Rafa Benitez has been speaking to the media ahead of Everton’s clash against Tottenham at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Here are the main talking points from the Toffees boss’ press conference.

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Injury latest

Everton’s injury problems are well documented. They were missing four key players during Monday night’s 2-1 loss at Wolves in Abdoulaye Docuoure, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Yerry Mina and Lucas Digne.

Only the latter is available against Spurs, while Andre Gomes (calf) is still absent.

Benitez said: “At the beginning (of the season) when analysing the squad, we have too many players injured for a long time in the past. That was one of the big issues.

“Now we have (Cenk) Tosun, we have (Fabian) Delph and (Jarrad) Branthwaite are coming back.

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Lucas Digne is again available for Everton. Picture: Clive Mason/Getty Images)Lucas Digne is again available for Everton. Picture: Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Lucas Digne is again available for Everton. Picture: Clive Mason/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“We’re still missing Abdoulaye Doucoure, (Dominic) Calvert-Lewin and Yerry Mina who are key players but we are bringing players back. 

“Digne is fine. He has been training so hopefully he will be available. No Yerry Mina, no Andre Gomes, no Doucoure or Calvert-Lewin.”

Conte admission

Antonio Conte will take charge of his maiden Premier League game as Spurs manager following his appointment earlier this week.

The Italian boasts four Serie A titles and an English top flight crown with Chelsea on his CV.

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Benitez feels Tottenham might get a boost from Conte but is adamant Everton have enough quality to deliver a result.

“You analyse everything. We know we’ll play against a very good team,” said the Goodison chief.

“Conte is a manager with experience, they have some good players. It will be difficult, maybe it’s not a good moment because they have a new manager and will have extra motivation maybe.

“That’s the difficulty of this competition. You have to compete against everyone at any time and then have to be ready.

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“We’ve shown we are capable to react. Even in the last game we lost, in the second half the team showed the commitment and reaction you’re expecting and can do it on Sunday.”

Antonio Conte guided Chelsea to the Premier League title in 2017. Picture: Michael Regan/Getty ImagesAntonio Conte guided Chelsea to the Premier League title in 2017. Picture: Michael Regan/Getty Images
Antonio Conte guided Chelsea to the Premier League title in 2017. Picture: Michael Regan/Getty Images | Getty Images

Arresting lacklustre form

Benitez has to show the tactical acumen he’s renowned for to get Everton back to winning ways.

The Blues have lost their past three games and concerns are growing.

Benitez has given an insight into how he feels the Blues can turn around their form

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He said: “Sometimes when you are doing well, it’s easier for the manager.

“When you’re not doing so well, you have to think about how to improve things - especially confidence and the mentality.

“I used to go to the good things we did. We started the season so well, we showed commitment, intensity and everything the fans were expecting.

“We have to remember that when we were doing quite well.

“Nobody wants to lose any game, especially three in a row.

“The fans understand the context. It’s something we need to analyse. The content of where we were, where we are, what happened during the summer, players that used to be injured and need to be back.

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“Put everything together and you have great performances at the beginning of the season.

“I remember when everyone was talking about the best football they’ve talked about for a while and now we have issues with the last three games, but I have 100% belief they’ll do well over the season.”

Delph’s nous

Fabian Delph helped Everton get a foothold back in the game against Wolves. Picture: Naomi Baker/Getty ImagesFabian Delph helped Everton get a foothold back in the game against Wolves. Picture: Naomi Baker/Getty Images
Fabian Delph helped Everton get a foothold back in the game against Wolves. Picture: Naomi Baker/Getty Images | Getty Images

Fabian Delph returned from a shoulder injury to come off the bench at half-time at Wolves.

The much-maligned midfielder impressed, though, helping Everton get a foothold back into the game having been dominated in the first period.

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Benitez believes Delph - a two-time Premier League winner at Manchester City - can provide experience in the current squad.

The Spaniard added: “It’s really important for any squad to have experience and experience in winning trophies is quite difficult.

“These kind of players can help the young players and are a good example.

“In this case, we’re talking about someone who wants to play and do well.

“After injuries, coming back with desire and commitment is very helpful for the team.”

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