Benitez remains positive ahead of clash against City at the Etihad

Everton manager Rafael Benitez will lead his side in a very tough tie against title contenders Manchester City at the Etihad in the Premier League on Sunday.

Ahead of the game, and considering Everton’s winless run of 5 games, it would be a big ask if anyone expects the Toffees to emerge with at least a point from the Etihad, as the Citizens would smell blood and go for the kill if other title contenders slip up on Saturday.

Regardless, Benitez has insisted that his side will soon start firing. The Toffees’ season thus far has been hampered by lengthy injuries to the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Abdoulaye Doucoure.

“We know the Premier League is quite tough. My idea is very clear: one game at a time,” he said.

“Football, in general, is a little bit emotional – when you are not winning it seems everything is wrong but it’s not wrong.

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“We have been very close to winning in these games and it is important to keep a team which is competitive and if we are like that you never know what can happen.

“Maybe we have a surprise and we can win a couple in a row and talk about something else.”

The trip to the Etihad will be followed by tough crackers against Liverpool, Arsenal, and Chelsea in their next 6 Premier League games. They’ve fallen to 11th on the log and are just 5 points ahead of Watford who sit in 17th place and these next games could determine Benitez’s fate at Goodison Park.

“All the teams in the world need results to get some confidence,” he added.

“For us the fact we did well in the last one (against Tottenham) in terms of the intensity and commitment of the players it’s quite positive.

“I expect that the team can get results and then if it is the first one (win) it will be easier for me to motivate the players for the next ones.

“I’m not happy if we are not winning but I have a lot of confidence in the team and staff and when all the players are available.

“I am sure we can start winning games and we have plenty of time to do well, especially in the second part of the league when these players who are not available are back.”


Meanwhile, forgotten man Fabian Delph as benefitted from the injury problems at the club has made just 33 appearances since joining them in the summer of 2019. He was their best player in the goalless draw at home to Tottenham before the international break.

“At the beginning, I think everybody knows and he knows, that we were thinking about replacing him,” said Benitez.

“But he was training really well, we were really pleased with the way he was in every training session (then) he had the shoulder problem and then we had to wait for 10 weeks.

“I think he has the right mentality, the right attitude. He wants to play every game.

“I have to stop him in the training sessions because he’s pushing very hard. That is the right attitude that you are expecting from any player.”