Rafael Benitez says tomorrow’s Merseyside derby clash with Liverpool is ‘massive’ and ‘an opportunity to put things right’ for Everton.
Everton welcome their city neighbours to Goodison Park tomorrow in a fascinating clash between the two Merseyside rivals, the Toffees heading into the clash without a win in seven Premier League matches.
The club’s fans voiced their anger following weekend defeat at Brentford, with Benitez – a divisive appointment during the summer- coming under pressure to turn results around.
While Jurgen Klopp tried to downplay the significance of the derby, the Everton boss said tomorrow’s clash with Liverpool represents a ‘massive game’ for his side and says the derby provides the perfect chance for his players to respond.
“It’s a massive game for us,” said Benitez at his pre-match press conference. “We have a bad run and now we need to start winning. A derby is an opportunity to put things right and we are thinking about getting the three points.
“I know what the derby means to everyone, so I’m watchful about that and I’m excited because I want to do well.”
Benitez spent six seasons in charge of Liverpool and won the Champions League during his time at Anfield, his previous allegiances to the red half of the city having split the Everton fanbase upon his appointment at Goodison Park.
The 61-year-old is relishing the chance to face his former side, believing three points could represent a ‘massive change’ in Everton’s faltering season.
“I’ve played against Liverpool with Newcastle, Chelsea and even Valencia in the past, and now it is Everton,” said Benitez.
“It’s a derby, a massive game, it’s different, it’s special and an opportunity for us to change things and improve everything for us for the rest of the season.
“With a bad run of results it’s important to do well and three points could be a massive change in our season.
“The fans, they know they are really important and massive for us so if we can create a good atmosphere anything can happen in a derby.”