Everton’s Marco Silva ignored pressure on him before West Ham win

Andy Hunter on 20 October 2019

Marco Silva has claimed he never worried about the pressure mounting on his job at Everton because his conscience was clear that he was giving everything to correct the team’s faltering campaign.

Everton enjoyed their first Premier League win in five matches on Saturday with a deserved 2-0 defeat of West Ham and a performance that vindicated several of their manager’s decisions, including recalls for Bernard, Tom Davies and Theo Walcott, Richarlison at centre-forward and Alex Iwobi over Gylfi Sigurdsson in the No 10 role.

Silva was under fierce pressure following a run of four league defeats that had left Everton in the relegation zone, yet he instructed his players to perform with freedom and to enjoy themselves against Manuel Pellegrini’s disappointing side. He was rewarded with a more convincing victory than the scoreline suggests and insisted the criticism never affected him.

“Every day I go home with my conscience really clear because I know I did my best to put my players at the best level I can,” Silva said. “I give my 100% best to Everton every day. Always. My players know that. Why would I be nervous? I am not.

“Everything I have in my life comes from football. I work really hard and I received many good things when I was a young manager. I have my career behind me and in the future as well. Football games are about preparing your players in a good way and to enjoy as well. I was not nervous at all.”

Silva held frank discussions with his underperforming players in the build-up to West Ham’s visit and made five changes to the team beaten at Burnley before the international break. Bernard marked his return with the opening goal before Sigurdsson, on as a late substitute, sealed victory with an emphatic finish.

The Everton manager said: “We have these chats in good and bad moments. My message to them was clear and they understood. When I see them perform in this way that is the most important thing for me because I am trying to build something in our football club. Last season we had some very good moments but I want more consistency. The chat was good and the message to them was clear. You have to tell the truth to your players. You can’t go around the issue. You have to tell the truth to players even if the truth is not so good.”

Walcott, 30, impressed in only his second start of the season, assisting for Bernard’s opener, and he claimed Silva’s calmness lifted the tension from a game the Portuguese had labelled a must-win. “The manager stressed that he wanted us to play with freedom and he took the pressure off us completely,” the former Arsenal forward said. “It was about enjoyment, not worrying about the game.”

He admitted recent criticism was not only justified but served to underline the expectation at Goodison Park and the status of the club. “We are the players who go across that white line and where we have been in the league is just not Everton at all,” he said. “The pressure we have been under is sort of a good thing because it shows just how big this club is and where we should be.

“Everyone is disappointed when you see us in the bottom three before the game. That is just not us at all. The fans can be disappointed in that but the sense of belief in the team against West Ham, the positive energy coming out of the dressing room, we want more and more of that. That is the level the manager expects from us. That is the level we need to be every single week – it is as simple as that.”

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