Everton have been transformed under Italian Ancelotti, whose shrewd signings during the close season - including the capture of James Rodriguez - and tactical nous have helped them win their opening four league games of the 2020-21 campaign.

Ferguson was Everton's interim manager for a brief period before Ancelotti's arrival in December. The Scot said he was immediately impressed by the veteran manager.

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"The first thing I noticed when he came in was that he never changed anything. A new, younger manager could have decided to do things (differently) straightaway," Ferguson told the Daily Mail in an interview on Friday.

"They could have forced their philosophy - I hate that word - or style of play on to the team. Some managers would have just come in and gone... 'Change this. Change that. Change it all.' He never did it. I thought that was class.

"I learnt a lot from that. He's a relaxed kind of guy but, believe me, he's got a bite on him. Carlo has worked his magic. We've all got respect for him for what he has done in the game. But he's hardworking and out on the grass every day."

Everton are looking to win their opening five league matches for the first time since 1938 but face a daunting task against local rivals and champions Liverpool on Saturday.

The Merseyside club have not beaten Liverpool in their last 22 fixtures and Saturday marks 10 years to the day since their last victory over them. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)

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