Everton manager Marco Silva said his side have shown more togetherness following the horror injury suffered by Andre Gomes.
The midfielder needed surgery on a fracture dislocation he sustained following a challenge by Tottenham’s Heung-min Son in last Sunday’s Premier League meeting.
Gomes’ team-mates were visibly emotional on the pitch, but Silva praised the character his side showed.
When asked if the incident had brought his squad together, he told talkSPORT: “Yeah but we were before as a group and as a team. After that moment I think everyone saw that.
“After that situation with Andre we showed strong character as a team. Our players at that moment wanted to fight even more because they felt it was not fair what happened with Andre.
“In football, bad luck can happen. We have to keep strong that togetherness as a team even more than in the last few months because these type of things have happened with us.
“We have a strong group and strong characters and with a big commitment from our football club we can achieve the points we want.”
Silva, who has revealed that Gomes could yet plan again this season, said Fabian Delph is also struggling ahead of Everton’s trip to Southampton on Saturday, which is live on talkSPORT 2.
Nonetheless, the Portuguese boss is confident that he has enough strength in depth within his squad to cope with the injuries.
He said: “If you ask me if we are at our maximum, of course not, but we have Tom (Davies) playing at a good level and Morgan has already showed his quality during this season.
“They know I have full confidence in them and of course we are stronger if we have all of them like all the teams in the world.
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“Football is like that when you have your chance you have to show you are able to play at your best level. Tom did that in the last few games and Morgan will do that for sure.”
Everton and Southampton are 17th and 18th in the Premier League table respectively and Silva recognises how key winning this game is.
He added: “It’s a really important game, not just because what will come in December. Sometimes in the Premier League when you are thinking ‘okay there will be the most easy game’ and it will be the most difficult.
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- Chelsea vs Crystal Palace (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Nottingham Forest vs Derby (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Southampton vs Everton (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Leicester vs Arsenal (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Cardiff vs Bristol City (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2
“When you don’t go into a game with the full focus and respect for the opponent, even if they are in a good position or not in the table it will be really difficult to react on the pitch, so you have to prepare.
“You prepare for all the games, if you were playing against Lincoln in the Carabao Cup you would prepare in the same way against Tottenham or Southampton. Nothing changes for us. We want our players to be fully focused and the game will be really important.”
Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT as we bring you THREE live Premier League commentaries across our network, including Southampton vs Everton at 3pm.