Benitez admits Everton job ‘more difficult’ than he expected

Rafael Benitez has admitted that the manager’s job at Everton is “more difficult” than he expected it to be but he is confident that they will improve.

Benitez replaced Carlo Ancelotti at Everton during the summer. They made a positive start to the 2021/22 campaign.

But they have been on a poor run of form of late as they have only won one of their last ten games in the Premier League.

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This run of results has seen them drop down to 14th in the table. They travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea on Thursday night. 

The Toffees come up against Leicester City, Burnley and Newcastle before the end of the year. As quoted by BBC Sport, Benitez has insisted that it is “important” that everyone at Everton “stick together”:

“I was talking today with some senior players and everyone understands it is important to stick together. If you do that later on you will be stronger.

“I am confident everything will be well and we have to be sure the players are giving everything on the pitch.

“I was speaking to Mr Moshiri this morning and I’ve had meetings with the chairman and chief executive. They have experience changing managers and things were not working.

“What was the feeling of the last few years for any Everton fan? Success or frustration? Everton fans know the problems we have are not something that can be fixed in just five months.”

| Updated measures for stadium entry following the Government's introduction of 'Plan B'.

Please read carefully if you are due to attend Goodison or upcoming away fixtures. #EFC

— Everton Fan Services (@efc_fanservices) December 15, 2021

Benitez went onto say that he will look to “improve” his squad during the January transfer window and that the Everton job is “more difficult” than he thought it would be:

“We will go to January and try to improve the squad and hopefully we can do well and I am sure that we will be much better in the second part of the league and the fans will be happy at the end.

When asked if this is job is more difficult than he expected, Benitez said: “More difficult. I knew about the challenge. At the beginning we identified the problems.

“After a month we could see the things we wanted to change but Rome was not built in one day. We have also had important injuries in the spine of the team and that is why you can see the team not doing exactly what we are expecting.

“The attitude of the majority of the players is quite good and they are trying their best. I am 100% sure we will be much better in the second part of the [season].”

Benitez also stated that Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s absence has made a “massive difference”:

“The fans could see what we were looking for – the intensity, commitment, the way we were playing and everyone was really happy.

“Last year the squad was around 16 players during the whole season and that means some of them, a lot of them were injury prone.

“They were losing 30-40% of matches because players were injured. Dominic [Calvert-Lewin) was playing 85% of the games and this year he is playing 18%. It is a massive difference.

“The majority of the other players are maybe playing more than they expect. As soon as we have key players injured we have had problems. We know we can improve things but you cannot control these things.”

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