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Everton can cope without injured Digne, says Ancelotti

London (AFP) – Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti is confident his squad can cope with the loss of France international defender Lucas Digne for up to three months.

The 27-year-old left-back is to have surgery on Monday on an ankle injury sustained in training this week, leaving the Toffees boss with only the inexperienced Niels Nkounkou as cover.

“It is a big loss because he is one of the best left-backs in Europe at the moment but we have to manage this,” said Ancelotti of Digne.

“I think we will be able to adapt to the loss of Lucas Digne for two or three months.

“Three centre-backs can be an option still. We can use (Alex) Iwobi on the left without problem as a wing-back so we will see.”

Ancelotti has issues on the other side of his defence as well. Seamus Coleman is still absent with a hamstring injury and Jonjoe Kenny, while available, is not fully fit.

Ancelotti’s original decision to switch to a 3-4-3 system was an attempt to improve Everton’s defensive solidity — they have conceded two or more goals in their past six matches after a bright start to the season.

The Italian, whose side host Leeds on Saturday, admitted the formation is still a work in progress and there remain issues to iron out.

“Of course we have to be concerned, we have to be worried, because we conceded too many goals. It is too much,” he added.

“We are working on this. It is true we scored a lot of goals in these first games, we were really efficient up front and our strikers did really well in this period, but we conceded too much.

“We have to avoid this and we have to have, in one word, balance.”

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