Sport

Joao Virginia eyes Carabao Cup as a path to success for Everton

Goalkeeper Joao Virginia admits the players have to use the Carabao Cup to prove Everton are ready to win trophies again.

The Toffees’ last piece of silverware was the 1995 FA Cup but they have a new optimism under serial winner Carlo Ancelotti, who has already guided them to their best start in the Premier League since 2012-13.

Virginia, who made his debut in the second-round victory over Salford as Ancelotti made 10 changes, hopes to celebrate signing a new four-year contract with further progress against League One Fleetwood and set up an eminently winnable tie against either West Ham or Hull.

“We have a great squad, even for the Carabao Cup games. We have plenty of quality and talent,” he told evertontv.

“It is important to go out there and show everyone is ready to play. Everyone wants to win a trophy… we want to prove to the fans we are ready to win silverware.

“Fleetwood are a good team and we have to win this match before we can think about the next round.

“We will go into the game with the same mindset as against Salford and try to play how we did in that game.”

The Portuguese is also hoping to maintain his own personal progress after a first-team debut two years after joining from Arsenal, having spent time on loan at SkyBet Championship side Reading last season until being recalled by Ancelotti in January.

“It is a bright future for me here at the club and I am so positive about it and so happy to sign this new deal,” he added.

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“I feel at home here and have done since the day I joined. Everybody at the club made me welcome, the fans have been terrific with me, too, so I’m so pleased to sign again.

“Mr Carlo is giving me the confidence I needed and for such an experienced manager to give me the thumbs up every day in training makes me feel even more confident. It is amazing.”

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