By Saikat Mandal

28th Sep, 2021 | 11:53am

Lucas Digne enjoying 'good spirit' at Everton under Benitez

Lucas Digne has suggested that Everton are playing more like a team under Rafael Benitez after a strong start to the season.

Everton bounced back from a 3-0 defeat against Aston Villa to win 2-0 against Norwich City at Goodison Park on Saturday in the Premier League.

The Toffees find themselves fifth in the league table with 13 points, just one point behind league leaders Liverpool.

Benitez was appointed during the summer transfer window after Carlo Ancelotti left the position to join his former club Real Madrid.

The Toffees finished 10th in the table under Ancelotti last season. Digne says that they are playing “like more of a team” under the Spaniard.

“We are more compact compared to last season, we are more together and look like more of a team,” Digne told the club’s official website.

“We are reacting very well every time we have some problems.

“This is a good way, we have a good spirit, and [positively responding to setbacks] is important for a big team.

“We are working very hard during the week and try to put this on the pitch at the weekend… we are playing good football and have to keep this.”

Change in mentality?

These are early days, and it’s hard to form a concrete opinion, but the signs are evident that there has been a sea change in mentality.

Everton operated on a shoe-string budget this summer, and added players who Benitez felt would make a significant contribution.

The likes of Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray are playing out of their skins as if they are on a mission to prove a point.

What Benitez has done is instil grit and resolve among his players. Everton twice came from behind at Goodison and on both occasions, they have found a way to seal all three points.

In juxtaposition, they only managed to do that twice in their past 59 games. The manner of their victories against Southampton and Burnley echoes what Digne has said.

In other Everton news, Michael Ball has made his January transfer prediction.