Earlier today Duncan Ferguson took his first press conference of his latest interim stint as manager of Everton ahead of the home game against Aston Villa on Saturday. The 50 year-old was asked what went wrong under Rafa Benitez and what his reaction was to the news of his sacking, and Ferguson didn’t mince his words.
“I don’t think I want to go back to that really. You’d have to speak to the previous manager about his thoughts on that.
“That’s in the past, for me I want to leave that and look to the future.
“I mean look, the results were there weren’t they? We weren’t too surprised, I don’t think. I don’t think even Rafa will have been too surprised. I think the results spoke for themselves didn’t they?”
Benitez came under fire for sticking by archaic tactics and formations that were simply not working, what would Ferguson do differently?
“If you’re going on a losing run we’ve been on, you’ve got to make changes haven’t you? Things haven’t been working at all.
“Yeah I’ll think over things tonight and name my team in the morning.”
What would he say he has learned from his last spell in charge, when he eked out a win against Chelsea and two draws against Manchester United and Arsenal respectively?
“I’ve got a little bit of experience now, going through these emotions you know.
“Last time it came along very quickly for me, I think it was a day or two before a game. This time I’ve had thinking time. I’m a bit more relaxed about it.
“We’ve got a more or less fully fit squad. They’ve all trained well, high intensity. They all seem happy enough and ready to play, we’re in a good place for the moment.”
Villa changed their manager after a slump, bringing in Rangers’ Steven Gerrard to turn their fortunes around. Tomorrow’s visitors are four points ahead of the Blues having played a game more than Everton, and a win for Ferguson would tighten the gap between the two sides.
“It’s going to be a difficult game. Aston Villa are a very good team as you know. Steven’s done great at Rangers, stopping Celtic from winning ten in a row, so he was brilliant up there.
“Steven’s done a great job so it’s going to be a tough game for us. Of course, Steven’s connections to Liverpool could add a little bit to that.”
The former striker was asked what he learned from all the managers he worked under, specifically from Benitez’s predecessor Carlo Ancelotti, and Ferguson’s awe of the man was clear.
“Carlo was a fantastic manager, I learned a lot from the man. He was a great manager, a great tactician, he was great with the lads, a great man-manager.
“He was a real inspiration to me and he had the team flying at one point, it was just the back end of the season we tailed off a little bit.
“I learned a lot from Carlo, I’ve already spoken to Carlo - he called me actually. I got a lot of information from him. He’s a great guy, an unbelievable manager, one of the best the world has ever seen, so of course I’ve learned a lot from him.”
Will the ballboys on duty on Saturday at Goodison Park need to watch out for his exuberant celebrations?
“Well we need to score some goals first ay, but the ball boys better be careful!”