Rafa Benitez asks angry Everton fans to back their out-of-form side in Wednesday’s Merseyside derby with Liverpool after Toffees booed their own team after seventh game without a win at Brentford last week
- Everton go into Wednesday’s Merseyside derby with Liverpool in horrid form
- A 1-0 loss at Brentford last Sunday was Everton’s seventh game without a victory
- The Toffees fans abused their own players after last weekend’s London loss
- Rafa Benitez faces his old club Liverpool, who are in terrific form ahead of the tie
- The Spanish manager has urged angry Toffees fans to get behind their team
Rafa Benitez has urged Everton’s angry fans to back their out-of-form team in the Merseyside Derby against Liverpool on Wednesday night as the Toffees look to ‘put things right’.
Everton’s away supporters were livid with their own team immediately after Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Brentford, with Toffees fans showing V signs to their players and shouting abuse at them.
The result put Everton boss Benitez under serious pressure after seven league games without a win, with the Spaniard claiming before this week’s derby with Liverpool that he can understand why the fans are so upset.
Rafa Benitez has urged Everton’s angry fans to get behind the team in the derby with Liverpool
The Toffees’ players were abused by their own fans after Sunday’s 1-0 loss at Brentford
‘As a manager you want to win and do well,’ Benitez told a press conference. ‘It’s a challenge for me and I can understand the frustration from fans.
‘It’s been some years we are not improving. I think the fans are intelligent and know we need them.
‘You can complain when players are not playing well or tactics are not working but at the same time they cannot complain about the effort. It’s a derby, I’m sure they will be behind the team.’
Benitez’s Everton go into the 239th Merseyside derby with Liverpool in 14th place, just six points off the drop zone. Jurgen Klopp’s title chasers are in third spot, two points off the top of the table and 13 ahead of Everton.
Everton go into Wednesday’s tie 13 points behind Liverpool (above) and without a win in seven
The Toffees’ last victory in any competition came on September 25, while Liverpool have back-to-back 4-0 wins over Arsenal and Southampton in their last two games.
Everton will, however, take inspiration from last February’s 2-0 victory at Anfield – their first win over their arch-rivals in 11 years, having failed to win their previous 23 derby clashes before their last meeting.
Benitez will meet former club Liverpool with his third different club, having also taken on the Reds as manager of Chelsea and Newcastle.
The 61-year-old, however, has a poor record against the Reds since leaving as the manager at Anfield in 2010, failing to win his last six matches against Liverpool. His last victory over the red half of Merseyside came in 2002 as Valencia manager.
Benitez (left) used to manage Liverpool but is now coaching the blue half of Merseyside
But Benitez is full of confidence as he admitted Everton will be looking to ‘change things’ following their barren run of form.
‘With Newcastle (and) Chelsea, I’ve played against Liverpool,’ Benitez added. ‘This time it is different. It will be an opportunity for us to change things.
‘It’s a massive game for us, the derby is always an opportunity to put things right. A derby is always special in every country but I live in the city so the passion is massive and really important for everyone.
‘That’s why I want to win and do well because for us as a club, it’s important to bring back the confidence and use an opportunity to change things for the rest of the season.’