Carlo Ancelotti taking the positives as postponement could leave Everton fresh for West Ham clash

Ancelotti said: “I think it is a difficult moment, not for the club, not for football – it is a difficult moment for the country. So I think we have to take care of this, we have to follow the protocols.

“I think not all the people are following the protocol. Not all the people wear the masks, not all the people take social distance. And so I think first of all we have to follow this. After that – I am not in the right position to decide if we have to play or not.

“I think the fact football at this moment plays is good for the people, because a lot of supporters unfortunately have to stay home – me too – and the fact to have matches on TV, I think it is good.

“I think the protocol the Premier League put in place is really good. We feel safe in our bubble. But outside, I have to pay attention, like all the normal people have to pay attention.

“I was surprised yesterday, I was walking and not a lot of people wear the mask.”

Ancelotti was speaking shortly before the Government announced the Liverpool City Region was moving into Tier 3, meaning the West Ham game will now have to be played behind closed doors, having previously had up to 2,000 fans permitted.

Meanwhile, Ancelotti has said Richarlison will be available for the match after missing the Boxing Day win at Sheffield United due to concussion protocol, and that James Rodriguez (calf) remains sidelined.

PA

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