Duncan Ferguson couldn't hide his sadness at not being able to deliver three desperately-needed points on his return to the touchline as caretaker boss this afternoon against Aston Villa.
Hoping to recapture the magic of his first interim spell in December 2019 where he oversaw a pulsating 3-1 win over Chelsea, the Scot went back to largely the same playbook of a 4-4-2 formation fuelled by passion and determination.
It was an afternoon where a lot more guile was required to break down a disciplined Villa side and in the end the game was settled by an Emiliano Buendia header in first-half stoppage time.
The result, coupled with wins for teams below them elsewhere this weekend, leaves Everton hovering precariously above the relegation zone with just one League win in 14 games.
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“I think I got a reaction from the players,” Ferguson said afterwards. “The first half we were not quite on it. The second half they had a good go at it and they gave me everything. I could not fault their effort.
“I am on the floor. I am gutted. I was kicking every ball. I am sick for the fans. I was desperate to get the win. I feel for them because I am one of them. It's a bad moment for me.”
A couple of hundred Evertonians remained behind in the stands after the final whistle to visibly protest the failings of the Board of Directors and owner Farhad Moshiri. Before kick off, a plane trailing a banner calling for Chairman Bill Kenwright to stand down was flown over the stadium and captured by television cameras.
Ferguson was asked for his thoughts on the protests.
"The fans, for me, can protest and they can say what they want," he said, “because it's their club at the end of the day and they have the right to support in any way shape or form they want.
"I know how sick they are, believe me. I'm gutted as much as them."
Reader Comments (9)
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1 Posted 23/01/2022 at 14:49:24
That is a really tall order and will take more the enthusiasm and pride in the shirt. He knows that questions will be asked about his future role, if he can't work a bit of magic.
His comments of Fan protests show he senses a shift in power, with the Board and Associates likely to come under increasing pressure from the fans. A bit of hedging his bets going on.
2 Posted 23/01/2022 at 18:09:12
I wonder how much training in a team is done as they always look like individuals and at times like these you need a strong team much more than anything else. We are bottlers and this needs to be worked upon or we won't win again until it is all over.
The youngsters (left- and right-backs) need to play their part in the Brentford match only to prepare them for the Premier League matches ahead.
3 Posted 23/01/2022 at 18:18:08
Or the club buys a player or two, before the January transfer window shuts down, and the new manager will live with whatever's at his disposal until the summer?
4 Posted 23/01/2022 at 20:51:36
That the problem of sacking a Manager mid January, but it could the case that the January transfer business is done. Sell Digne and with the money bring in a right and left backs. It was reported that Moshiri wanted Coutniho, but Benitez didn't. Aghagi (Whose his'agent?)arrived on loan instead. I take it was a loan rather than a transfer, because he is on loan to Aston Villa.
Maybe Benitez offered to go with compensation (as was reported), because transfer funds did not materialise. The transfer business that was conducted did not have Benitez in the decision loop IMO. Seems someone was skimping on what was needied.
Makes the Management selection process even more hairy, with possibly Kia , Moshiri's mate in the background.
5 Posted 23/01/2022 at 23:48:49
He may turn us down but at least have a go at getting him.
6 Posted 24/01/2022 at 13:16:51
Graham Potter has ruled himself out, citing the organisation and support he is currently getting. Basically saying there is no organisation or support at Everton
7 Posted 24/01/2022 at 16:11:41
I'd happily have 2 from Lingard, Dele Alli, Longstaff, Loftus-Cheek, Barkley or hopefully much better.
Play 3 in midfield. 3 or 3 as part of a 5 but 2 just isn't enough.
Don't rush into making a short term managerial appointment, especially someone who is a 'Dic'-tator. Player's need to be man managed not thrown under a bus ie no Mourihno 'the Marmite' types!
Reassess the whole structure but make changes in May, so as not to distract from the first team.
8 Posted 27/01/2022 at 16:36:33
Nothing is going to change at Everton FC it pains me to say
9 Posted 27/01/2022 at 16:45:54
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