'Everyone is expecting you to win' - Benitez on Toffees' triumph
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Limited
Rafa Benitez hailed the manner Everton delivered in a game ‘everyone expected them to win’ to beat Norwich City 2-0 at Goodison Park.
The Spaniard knew the Canaries’ passing style would require patience, but felt the Toffees came up with the right answers.
“When you play against a team that plays good football, you have to be sure you are organised and aggressive enough,” he said. “We were and got three points and that is the most important thing.
“These kinds of games are difficult because everybody is expecting you to win. We started well and had control for 30 minutes. Norwich didn’t create too much and we were attacking but without being very dangerous.
“The last 15 minutes of the first half, they started passing the ball, so we had to adjust in the second half. At 1-0, they had the hope they could do something. We were working very hard and adjusted a bit tactically to be more aggressive in the middle.
“We scored the second goal, then had two or three situations that could have been better.”
The former Liverpool chief is the first Everton manager to win his opening three league games of a new season since 1989.
“I am really happy (with three straight wins) but, hopefully we can carry on, that is the main thing,” he said, speaking to his club’s official site. “Hopefully, we can emulate what they did last season away from Goodison (11 wins). If we can win games at home and away, it will be better.
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"We are creating a good team spirit and, hopefully, with the players coming back, the big names scoring goals, the team will be stronger.
“It is not easy with these games and not too many players, we are missing two or three who played every game last year and scored a lot of goals. Hopefully, they can be with us soon and make the difference helping the rest of the team.”
Summer signing Andros Townsend opened the scoring from the penalty spot and has been a revelation since arriving on Merseyside with four goals and three assists.
Benitez allayed fears the wide player picked up a knock following his second half substitution.
“We were talking we needed fresh legs, and who could be more tired. At that time, when we were talking about this option, he made a run of 30 metres following a player - so that was the signal that he was exhausted,” said Benitez.
"When I asked him at the end, he said he was really tired, so it was the right decision. It's the way to protect most of your players."