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Manager Rafael Benitez insists there is not much wrong with his Everton players

Huddersfield Town v Everton – Carabao Cup – Second Round – John Smiths’ Stadium
(Image credit: Anthony Devlin)

Everton manager Rafael Benitez insists there is not that much wrong with his side despite five matches without a win.

Things do not get easier with a trip to Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday but the Spaniard, who has been hamstrung by lengthy injuries to key players like Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Abdoulaye Doucoure, views the situation differently to outside observers.

“We know the Premier League is quite tough. My idea is very clear: one game at a time,” he said.

“Football in general is a little bit emotional – when you are not winning it seems everything is wrong but it’s not wrong.

“We have been very close to winning in these games and it is important to keep a team which is competitive and if we are like that you never know what can happen.

“Maybe we have a surprise and we can win a couple in a row and talk about something else.”

Sunday’s trip to the Etihad is the start of a run of six matches in which they will also face Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea.

Having slipped to 11th, five points ahead of 17th-placed Watford, it could well be a crucial period for Benitez’s fledgling reign.

“All the teams in the world need results to get some confidence,” he added.

“For us the fact we did well in the last one (against Tottenham) in terms of the intensity and commitment of the players it’s quite positive.

“I expect that the team can get results and then if it is the first one (win) it will be easier for me to motivate the players for the next ones.

“I’m not happy if we are not winning but I have a lot of confidence in the team and staff and when all the players are available.

“I am sure we can start winning games and we have plenty of time to do well, especially in the second part of the league when these players who are not available are back.”

One player who has benefited from the injury problems is former City midfielder Fabian Delph, who the club were trying to offload in the summer having made just 33 appearances since joining in the summer of 2019.

He was their best player in the goalless draw at home to Tottenham before the international break which prevented a fifth successive defeat.

“At the beginning, I think everybody knows and he knows, that we were thinking about replacing him,” said Benitez.

“But he was training really well, we were really pleased with the way he was in every training session (then) he had the shoulder problem and then we had to wait for 10 weeks.

“I think he has the right mentality, the right attitude. He wants to play every game.

“I have to stop him in the training sessions because he’s pushing very hard. That is the right attitude that you are expecting from any player.”