Everton’s players need to return from long break energised – I don’t want Goodison to turn toxic

You might get a weekend off because you’re out of the FA Cup but you don’t get a lot of 17-day breaks two thirds into the season – it’s a difficult one to get your head around and a situation you don’t see too often.

It’s an opportunity for the manager and the coaching staff to get some proper training sessions done.

When you’ve had a lot of games with the recovery periods and talking tactics there aren’t many physically tough training sessions you can do to get your fitness levels up.

They have the chance to put their feet up for a short period – with commitments over the summer with the World Cup it’s been a long slog for some – but then they need to get back to Finch Farm and put in the hard yards to get the buzz back.

It’s not ideal but it gives you time to have a mental break from each other, go home and see their families and relax before coming back sharp.

Marco Silva will have to decide whether they should go away and do some team bonding in warm weather conditions which can work and I am a fan of that or whether it’s a case of everyone thinking ‘I’m sick of the sight of you.’

Given that there are 17 days to play with you’d hope that they can get the balance right.

They need to come back and produce some higher-energy performances though. You don’t want them returning and looking sluggish – like they have been doing for the past couple of months – you have to hope that Goodison doesn’t turn toxic on them.

They’ve to to start repaying the fans. It’s the inconsistency, you think ‘right we’ve seen the back of that horrible run’ only for them to put a performance like that at Watford.

It’s that lack of fight and desire that hurts me more.

The players that Marco has brought in are highly-talented but there’s that inconsistency.

Is it because it’s their first season adapting to the Premier League and a question of a few of them not being fully fit when they first signed?

It was disappointing that we didn’t bring anyone else in during January to freshen things up but you can understand why because there wasn’t much to play for.

Now that summer window becomes massive for us because not only does Marcel Brands want to trim the wage bill but he needs to rectify what we’re missing and it’s that killer instinct in front of goal.

It’s not like the board haven’t backed Everton managers in recent years, we’ve just bought the wrong players and this season continues to prove that.

We’ve got money now, but so has everyone else in the Premier League – Fulham have spent over £100million since the summer – so we’re not the only ones fighting for players.

There’s going to be a lot of pressure on to get the right players who not only have the correct attitude but the ability too.

While results are going badly there’s always going to be pressure on any manager but let’s try and end the season with a bit of positivity.

We need to try and push up the table as much as possible because we want to be able to attract good players.

If you’re not in Europe you’ve got to somehow persuade them that we’re on a journey that they’ll want to be part of for the next few years.

There have been plenty of clubs who have been going through transitional periods but they’ve still come away with a trophy in the meantime.

That’s what we’re after. We’ve been hungry for a trophy for so long now.

Look at Manchester United with Jose Mourinho, he was all over the place but he still got a couple of trophies out of it.