Everton boss Marco Silva has told his players they must show more desire to win games as they look to turnaround a poor start to the season.
Silva’s side have won only two of their eight matches this season, leaving them down in 15th place in the Premier League and dumped straight out of the Carabao Cup.
It is hardly what was expected after £100million worth of signings in the summer, and Silva has found himself high on the list of candidates to be the next Premier League manager to lose his job.
But the Portuguese shrugged off any suggestion of pressure and said it was up to him and his players to work harder, starting with Saturday’s trip to Burnley.
“I know only one way to win,” he said. “Work hard, harder if you can. Learn from the things that are not going well and show bigger desire in the next game, bigger commitment, demanding more from ourselves to play the match to win.
“I don’t feel pressure because of the results. What I feel is more and more desire to work with the players and demand more from them because we have quality.
“We have already showed that quality to achieve different results. It is up to us to stick together, to work harder and go to the match and do what we should do.”
There have been some mitigating circumstances for Silva.
Jean-Philippe Gbamin, signed to replace the instrumental Idrissa Gueye after he joined Paris St Germain, played only two games before suffering a thigh injury, while Andre Gomes has only this week returned to training, having been out for the past month with a rib injury.
And that summer influx of signings did not include the central defender Silva wanted with moves for Kurt Zouma and Marcos Rojo not coming off.
Silva was unwilling to discuss whether he might return for Zouma in January with the Frenchman struggling for playing time at Chelsea, and said he was not interested in discussing what might have gone wrong for the club in the summer.
“It is not a moment to look to the past, when we did or did not do different things or whether we lost two key players,” he said.
“This is not the moment to try to make excuses, it is the moment to stick together, to work to win games, to show desire and more desire to win the games.”
Everton finished last season with a strong run, winning six and losing two of their final 11 games.
That run began shortly after a defeat to champions Manchester City in which Silva’s side performed well without reward.
That was the story last weekend too when they went down 3-1 to City at Goodison Park, and Silva must hope for a similar response from his side.
“In football the main thing is always the result but we took many, many positives from the game,” he said.
“We were able to create chances against a top, top side. Of course, being more clinical we should take points from the game, and being more solid. That’s everything we are working to achieve as fast as we can.
“The fantastic period we had last season came not just because we had quality and showed quality but because we were solid.
“It is up to us to work really hard, to avoid mistakes and become a solid team, because after that the results will come.”
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