Rafael Benítez insisted he did not fear for his job as Everton manager after fans turned on the club’s board in the wake of a comprehensive defeat by Liverpool in the Merseyside derby.
Everton endured their heaviest home defeat in a derby for 39 years and have now gone eight matches without a win after Liverpool delivered what Jürgen Klopp described as their finest performance at Goodison Park during his tenure.
Everton fans reacted by chanting “Sack the board” and roundly criticising the chairman, Bill Kenwright, and the director of football, Marcel Brands, as they left their seats after the final whistle. The majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri was not present.
“No, I am a professional and I have enough experience,” Benítez replied when asked if the unrest would damage his job prospects. “I can see a team that is giving everything. The commitment of the players is there. We have to analyse the commitment, the effort and the desire of the players and after that, we have to make the right decisions.”
Everton were outclassed in the 239th Merseyside derby but Benítez attributed the emphatic defeat to his team’s error-strewn display. He said: “Everybody has to be disappointed, we have lost the derby, but we lost because we made mistakes against a top side. You have seen how much money Liverpool have been spending and they have been successful over the last few years and it can happen if you make mistakes. Against other teams maybe not, but against a top side you suffer.”
Klopp, by contrast, hailed another outstanding and clinical display from his team. The Liverpool manager said: “For sure it was the best performance we have showed at Goodison since I’ve been at Liverpool. We were never as calm or convinced as we were tonight and that’s why we won the game.
“We’ve had to learn to play these kind of games. We had to learn to play at Old Trafford and we had to learn to play at Goodison. Tonight we showed that we have made a really big step forward in our development and that is really good. It doesn’t mean anything for the future but it shows that this is now our benchmark and that is what we have to do to reach when we play these kinds of teams. We are a very emotional football team but first of all, we need the right mindset. Emotion is good but not the all the important thing.”