Phil Jagielka will get “the reception he deserves” on his return to Goodison Park, according to Everton boss Marco Silva.
The veteran defender makes his first return to Merseyside with Sheffield United on Saturday after a 12-year stay with the Toffees ended in the summer when he was released.
Jagielka has only made one Premier League appearance for the Blades so far but, whether he is on the pitch, on the bench or in the stands, Silva expects the 37-year-old to be given a hearty welcome back.
“For sure he will have the reception he deserves, no doubts about that,” said the Everton boss.
“You know how our fans are, the passion for our club, and for the players who give 100 per cent of his commitment for the blue shirt it’s normal they have the reception they deserve.
“Phil Jagielka will have for sure the big reception tomorrow until the moment we kick off and after that we want to win and for sure he will want the same because he’s a professional but it will be nice to see how they will welcome him in our stadium again.”
The early stages of the season have once again seen a dramatic difference between Everton’s home and away form.
They have taken maximum points from two Premier League matches at Goodison – making it six wins in a row across two seasons – but managed only one point from three games on the road.
The latest disappointment was last weekend’s 3-1 loss to Bournemouth, and Silva shares the fans’ frustration that the situation continues.
“We understand why they are like that,” he said. “If you analyse how I was also, and of course you didn’t see our dressing room but the mood, it wasn’t just our fans because we were (frustrated) too.
“It’s something we are working on to change but it’s not just for us that it’s really tough to play away from home in the Premier League. We improved last season. My opinion is it’s not good enough and we want to improve this season again.
“It’s up to us to learn from the things we didn’t do so well, to react and to achieve a different result. Now is a home game, we have time to talk next week, we have to put full focus on our opponent and what we can do.”
Silva has been content with the reaction from his players in training and expects a much better performance against the Blades, who have drawn both their away matches since returning to the Premier League.
“When you start to prepare for the next one and you come from a bad result for us, we have to show the reaction and we have showed that,” said Silva.
“We analysed, gave the right feedback to them why some things happen in that game and we will be fully ready to play, to show a reaction, to do our best again to win the match playing at Goodison.
“Our home form and the last results at home show we are really strong playing in our stadium with our fans. It’s something we want to repeat tomorrow again.”
Everton will again be without midfielders Andre Gomes (rib) and Jean-Philippe Gbamin (thigh).
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