Everton boss Marco Silva has hailed the recent form of Theo Walcott.
Walcott replace Moise Kean at half-time in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup fourth-round clash with Watford at Goodison Park and had a key role as Silva’s side secured a 2-0 win.
That included providing the cross headed in by Mason Holgate when the hosts, much improved from their first-half display, went 1-0 up in the 72nd minute.
Walcott had started three of the previous four games – having not made any starts this season prior to that – and produced a lively display in the 2-0 win over West Ham on October 19.
Silva said with regard to the match against his old club Watford: “Theo made a big impact again. The change we made at half-time had a big impact on our second half.
“We found the spaces more easily than in the first half because we started faster our build-up.
“Theo was always a really important player for me, even if sometimes he was not playing, not starting, and he knows that.
“He had the chance against West Ham because he showed me he deserved it and the performance he made was really good.
“(Against Watford) he did a very good second half, was really important. He is in a good moment and for sure he will help us in the next games as well.”
After Holgate netting his first-ever Everton goal, Tuesday’s victory was wrapped up by a strike in stoppage time by ex-Hornet Richarlison.
That was the Brazil international’s first goal since September 1, and Silva said: “He needed it (the goal) not just (in this match), not just because we are playing against his former club, but because he needs goals.
“Richarlison needs goals to perform better, for his confidence to come to the level he needs and our team needs, and it was an important moment for him for sure.”
Everton, with the pressure seeming to have eased a little on Silva, now prepare for Sunday’s Premier League home clash with Tottenham.
The Merseysiders are currently 16th in the table with 10 points from 10 games – defeat at Brighton last weekend made it five losses in six league matches.
Watford lie bottom of the table on five points and without a league win this term ahead of Saturday’s encounter with Chelsea at Vicarage Road.
Boss Quique Sanchez Flores, who made eight changes to his starting XI on Tuesday, three more than Silva, said: “It was important to see players that are not playing too many minutes.
“In our situation, we need all of them. We need to be fair with the players, to put in the players we think deserve to play.
“If it is enough to win at Everton, it’s OK. If it’s not enough, OK, we go to the next match.
“Four, five, six, maybe seven players got some extra confidence for the future.”
Watford have failed to score in four of their last five games, and Sanchez Flores added: “I understand how the players are playing under pressure.
“It is probably easier to organise the defence than to organise this kind of position (attacking), because this needs creativity, clarity in the mind.
“They are a little bit nervous or not relaxed enough.”
Meanwhile, Watford have announced a work permit application for 18-year-old Fluminense attacker Joao Pedro, who initially agreed to join in October 2018, has been successful.
The Brazilian, who has a five-year contract, will be free to link up with Watford from January 1.
Stay updated with the latest news, gossip and football stories by following us @Football_P