Gerard Deulofeu believes that a good League Cup run is vital for Everton’s confidence ahead of their fourth-round tie with Norwich City on Tuesday.
The former Barcelona winger played the full 90 minutes of Everton’s 2-1 Premier League loss at Arsenal on Saturday, providing the assist for Ross Barkley’s goal shortly before half-time and missing a chance to equalise himself late on.
Norwich, meanwhile, are without a win since their 3-0 victory over West Brom in the third round of the League Cup last month, as they lost 1-0 at home to the same opposition at the weekend.
And Deulofeu insists that Roberto Martinez’s side must use the cup to re-kindle their league form.
“We need to win for the confidence of the team, and of the fans. It’s a huge challenge and if we get the win we’re in the quarter-finals, and only a game away from Wembley,” the 21-year-old told Everton’s official website.
“The Capital One Cup and FA Cup are both great challenges, and I think Everton need to win a cup, so it’s really important to me. The best way to get confidence is from winning games and playing well.”
Defeat to West Brom was a third-straight Premier League loss for Alex Neil’s Norwich, and the Scot is adamant that his team must be more clinical in front of goal.
“In recent games, when the crucial times came, we didn’t do enough and it cost us,” Neil said.
“That’s where we are at the moment. I’ve never lost three games in a row as a manager before, and it doesn’t feel good and you want to go and put it right.
“We’ve got a really tough game next, but the bottom line is I’ll keep doing what I think I’m good at, I’ll keep working hard and hopefully we can improve.”
As well as missing Gareth Barry through suspension, Everton will be without captain Phil Jagileka for Tuesday’s game after he suffered a knee injury against Arsenal.
Steven Pienaar (hamstring) and Tom Cleverley (ankle) could both return for Martinez, but Gary Hooper (ankle) and Youssouf Mulumbu (metatarsal) are likely to miss out for Norwich.