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Benitez: Forget ‘small club’ comments – I’ll fight for Everton

Rafael Benitez has said he is not “scared” by the prospect of managing Everton and insisted comments made about the club while Liverpool manager were made a long time ago.

The Spaniard became the first ex-Liverpool manager to take charge of Everton when signing a three-year deal, while he is only the second manager after William Edward Barclay to have both clubs on his CV.

There was some opposition to his appointment, with Merseyside Police investigating after a threatening banner which read ‘We know where you live, don’t sign’, but Benitez said he has experienced a positive response near his Merseyside home.

“To be fair, the Evertonians around my place are quite happy and very supportive. Even the Liverpudlians accepted it was an opportunity for me to come back to the Premier League,” Benitez said in his first Everton press conference on Wednesday.

“About the banners – we can talk about one, two people. You never know. It’s better to think about positives, how a lot of people were encouraging me to do well.

“Football is quite emotional and everybody will have their opinions. For me it’s a challenge, a chance to do well in the Premier League, and show everyone we can compete.

“I was convinced when I decided to say yes, or even decided to start talking. It’s not something I’m scared of, it’s the opposite. I want to win, I want to do well. That is to be competitive for me, to be ambitious.”

Sam Allardyce and Rafa Benitez


Former Everton boss Sam Allardyce says Rafael Benitez will need to win over some sections of the supporters after taking over manager

Benitez managed Liverpool from 2004 to 2010, and during his time at Anfield the 61-year-old described Everton as a “small club” after a Merseyside derby in 2007.

Asked about making this remark, Benitez said: “It depends on the context. It was a long time ago. You are fighting for your club and that is what I will do now. I will fight for Everton.

“I will try to do my best every single game. I am really pleased this club is getting bigger and bigger.”

Benitez confirmed Duncan Ferguson will be one of his assistant managers alongside Francisco de Miguel Moreno. Antonio Gomez, a midfielder in Benitez’s Real Madrid youth teams, will be his first-team coach and senior analyst.


Rafael Benitez has started work as Everton’s new manager, leading his first training session with his new squad of players.
Pictures: Everton TV

“Duncan is an Everton legend and has great experience. He will be vital for us with his coaching expertise and understanding of the players,” Benitez added.

Benitez was also asked about transfer targets, but would not be drawn on names when Denzel Dumfries and Kalidou Koulibaly were mentioned.

He said: “The reality is that when you go to any club the manager has an important opinion, but you have to work in the context that you have a director of football, the board, financial restrictions.

“I’m quite happy with the commitment of the lads, they’re training really well. I think we can improve things, and if we can add players that are good for us, that’s the objective.”

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This post originally posted here SkySports | News

Rafael Benitez 'on the brink' of being confirmed as new Everton boss after holding talks

“How about immediately?

“Of the names instantly linked with Everton as the Ancelotti news broke, who is more qualified than my former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez?

“Rafa is available, settled in the area and I am sure he is ready if Moshiri is prepared to consider one of the more shocking managerial appointments in Merseyside football history.

“At the very least, Benitez should be under consideration as Moshiri begins yet another managerial quest. And not for the first time, before the owner decides the right candidate, he has to be clear of the football direction he wants to take.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed