Under-pressure Marco Silva could hardly wish for a worse game on Wednesday as his Everton side visit Anfield to face Premier League leaders Liverpool.
This season’s first Merseyside derby comes with the two sides heading in markedly different directions, with the Toffees winning just two of their last ten top flight games.
To improve that run, Everton must win at Anfield for the first time in over 20 years tomorrow night.
Pressure continues to grow on manager Silva, who remains without several key players ahead of the Liverpool clash, and a heavy defeat could spell the end of his time at Goodison Park.
The Portuguese has confirmed Seamus Coleman and Fabian Delph will not be fit to face the Reds, while Andre Gomes, Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Bernard continue to recover from long-term injuries.
It’s an abnormally crowded treatment room at Goodison Park, compounded by the fact that Everton are just two points above the relegation zone with their next four games against Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.
Silva had plenty of questions to answer at his press conference on Tuesday, and here’s what he had to say:
What could a victory over Liverpool do for his future?
“It would have a very good impact, no doubt about it.
“It will not wipe out anything we did in the last one and a half, two months, but it will be very important for us.
“It can change [the feeling from] the last result, it can give us the chance to get points which we need and for sure it can give confidence to our players.
“It’s a fantastic game to play. Of course we’d prefer to play in our stadium, but they have to enjoy.
“It will be a tough game, is it will be for all clubs who visit them. Let’s go there to play.
“We are in this situation but we go to play and embrace the challenge like we did last season.
“Of course our record is not good enough, 20 years there without a win is a long time but hopefully it’s an opportunity to change that.”
Does the lack of public support from the board worry him?
“[The board] didn’t say anything to me about what they expect.
“They don’t need to say anything about what they expect for tomorrow’s match. They know what type of approach I have for all the matches, not just a derby.
“They don’t need to say anything different. They know the manager they have in charge here.”
How has the speculation about his future affected him?
“Nothing changed in my mind, my work rate every single day, what I’m demanding from my players, nothing changed.
“Of course we’re not happy with the results or the position we are in.”
Have Everton been unlucky with injuries and VAR decisions this season?
“The main thing is to look at ourselves, what we haven’t done well since the season started.
“Of course the other things [VAR etc] we cannot control, and the type of injuries we’ve had until now is really tough.
“Some games we were winning and should have managed in a different way, some we were better than the opposition but didn’t score. I’m here to find solutions.”
What does he make of drawing Liverpool in the FA Cup third round?
“Not just [a bad draw] for us, for them as well!
“The only difference is they will play at home, and we will play away”
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- Preston vs West Brom (Monday, 19:45) – talkSPORT 2
- Millwall vs Nottingham Forest (Friday, 19:45) – talkSPORT 2
- Everton vs Chelsea (Saturday, 12:30) – talkSPORT
- Huddersfield vs Leeds (Saturday, 12:30) – talkSPORT 2
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