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Silva: It’s a must-win game

Manager’s comments ahead of crunch clash against the Hammers

Burnley v Everton - Premier League - Turf Moor Photo by Anthony Devlin/PA Images via Getty Images

Everton fans might be relieved that the international break is over and the Blues are back in action, but after four straight losses they can be forgiven for approaching tomorrow’s clash with West Ham United with a sense of dread.

Manager Marco Silva enters this game with a sword hanging over his head, but struck a positive note as he always does in the pre-match press conference earlier today.

“We are together in this situation. Before the first international break one month ago we were in sixth position and in a good moment.

“But we haven’t achieved the results [in the past month], so the moment is not good enough for us. Together we have to take the responsibility.

“I am the first one [to do that] and it is good to see the players taking that responsibility, too. They know we are a group, not just one. We are Everton Football Club, all together in this situation.

“And being all together will turn things for us and help us take the points to go for the position we want – and challenge for the goals we want to achieve.”

The Blues had previously been impervious at home, but the shock defeat against Sheffield United followed up by the submission against Manchester City seems to have broken the aura at Goodison Park.

“For us as a club all matches have to be must win. It is a mentality we are trying to create, it [match against West Ham] has to be a turning point for us.

“We have all the conditions to do that, with full confidence in our players and playing in our stadium. We have the support of our fans.”

When asked if the pressure following the bad results was starting to tell, Silva was defiant.

“Pressure, I’ll tell you straight, for us as professionals needs to be a privilege, a pleasure. It means we are doing what we really love and working in a football club that is demanding.

“We have to put this pressure behind us every day. For me it’s never, ever a problem and I try to pass that on to my players.

“Pressure is really good. It means we’re with a club that wants to win and has big ambition.

”It’s the reality, our position in the table is not good and our last results aren’t good enough. We have to react and the pressure has to be good for us.

”Embracing the moment, you can perform better and win the game.”

The manager was also questioned about meetings he was rumoured to have had with majority shareowner Farhad Moshiri during the international break about his future.

“I speak with the owner many, many times - not just in the last week.

”Like I said to some of you three weeks ago I was with him, two weeks ago I was with him. Normally we speak during the week often.”

Following the bad news that Jean-Philippe Gbamin would be out for another extended period of time, the Blues remain thin at midfield especially with Fabian Delph doubtful to play.

“Let’s see how he reacts. He is getting better. We will make a decision tomorrow.”

Cenk Tosun is also out after picking up a groin injury in action for Turkey.