Everton manager Marco Silva says he believes in defender Michael Keane, after again dropping him from the starting XI.
The Portuguese tactician left the England international on the bench against Southampton on Saturday, instead selecting Mason Holgate to partner Yerry Mina in central defence – just as he did against Tottenham Hotspur the weekend before.
It will have come as a big blow for Keane, who has missed out on Gareth Southgate’s latest England squad for the upcoming games against Montenegro and Kosovo.
The 26-year-old has experienced a real loss of form of late, but Silva has faith in the £30 million player (BBC Sport) to turn things around.
He said (Guardian): “Michael Keane has all my support, like he had in the past when I joined the club, how he was and how he is at this moment.
“Of course the others are playing well. Michael Keane will keep working really hard. Sometimes, if you spend some games on the bench, it is not the end of the world and Michael Keane knows that and he will become stronger because he has quality and I believe in him.
“Normally I speak with all my players. When they don’t have their best moments I am always there to support them.”
TBR’s view – Keane has real work to do
Keane must knuckle down in order to regain his place in the team.
Mason Holgate has seized his opportunity with both hands and has looked impressive alongside Mina, so Keane may have to bide his time.
One would imagine Silva will move to bolster his defence in January, so it will be vital for Keane to give his all in training and make the most of his chances out on the pitch.