Everton will be ready and raring to go when the Premier League season returns, according to English centre-back and experienced Toffee Michael Keane.
Speaking to the sporting press in a recent interview, the towering 6'-3" defender took time to assure fans the Everton squad could be ready for top-flight action in a matter of weeks. The 27-year-old from Stockport, boasting more than 75 appearances for the Merseyside Blues spoke of the importance of working hard behind the scenes — within the rules — as no-one knows when league action could return and the playing staff will be called upon again.
With Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti and his backroom staff dishing out training plans tailored to the needs of individual players, Keane was honest about the difficulties faced by a professional footballer at this time but believes the squad will be back to full fitness with the benefit of a two-week training camp.
Toffees well beaten by Chelsea
Everton's last Premier League match came back on Sunday, 8 March when beaten convincingly by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Frank Lampard's men dished out a heavy 4-0 defeat to Ancelotti's men that day, banking the points thanks to goals from Mason Mount, Pedro, Willian and Olivier Giroud.
The game was over as a contest by 54 minutes, the Toffees stumbling to a three-game winless run. That drought is made up of defeat to Arsenal in London and a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Goodison Park against Man Utd.
A season tally of 10 wins and 7 draws against a dozen defeats has Everton stuck in the bottom half of the table. Scoring 37 goals and conceding 46, the 37 points on the board places them 12th in the pecking order.
Qualification for Europe unlikely
There's still plenty to play for this season, of course, and no-one at the club will be in a rush to throw in the towel on this campaign just yet. The fact Wolverhampton Wanderers and the top six is currently just six points away offers encouragement.
That poor run of form hasn't gone unnoticed as they were seen as unlikely to finish in the top six in the Premier League betting prior to the suspension of the league. Everton have a mammoth task on their hands if they are to reach their aim of finishing in the top four and qualifying for next season's Champions League. A top-six finish and place in the Europa League is more likely, but not much.
Relegation remains a threat
Things could be worse, of course. When glancing over his shoulder, however, Ancelotti will be well aware things must improve on the park sooner rather than later. AFC Bournemouth — currently sitting 18th in the Premier League relegation zone — are just 10 points behind.
Given Everton have picked up only 1 of the last 9 league points available to them, things could turnaround very quickly, especially at this level of football.