By Sophie Kreimer
New Everton manager Rafael Benitez has said he is not worried by the prospect of becoming the head coach of Merseyside club Everton and insisted remarks made about the Goodison side while Liverpool boss was made a very long time ago.
The Spanish tactician became the first former Liverpool boss to become the manager of Everton when signing a three-year contract, while he is only the second boss after William Edward Barclay to have both sides on his resume, and he was one of Betfair’s risk free offer for the summer before signing for Everton.
There were few oppositions to the appointment of the former Chelsea and Liverpool manager, with Police at Merseyside investigating, after a threatening banner that reads “We know where you live, don’t sign“, but the Spaniard said he has experienced a positive response near his home at Merseyside.
“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,” the tactician said in his first press conference as manager of Everton last 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.“
The new Everton boss managed Merseyside giants Liverpool between 2004-2010 Premier League seasons, and during his time at Liverpool, the 61-year-old tactician described Everton as a “small club“ after a derby game back in 2007.
Asked during the presser about making this comment, Rafael 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.“
The Spanish tactician confirmed Duncan Ferguson will be one of his assistants alongside Francisco de Miguel Moreno. Antonio Gomez, a midfielder in Rafael Benitez’s Real Madrid youth side, will be Rafael’s first-team coach as well as a senior analyst.
Benitez added, “Duncan is an Everton legend and has a great experience. He will be vital for us with his coaching expertise and understanding of the players.“
During Wednesday’s press conference, Benitez was also asked about his summer transfer targets, but would not be drawn on naming any player when KalidouKoulibalyand Denzel Dumfries were named.
Benitez 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, and 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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