Saturday, 22 January 2022 16:51

‘I tried my best’; Ferguson points out key reason why Villa too good for Everton

Caretaker boss Duncan Ferguson was happy with Everton’s work rate but felt they were not good enough where it mattered most in defeat to Aston Villa.

The Scot was in the Goodison Park dugout in a caretaker role following the sacking of Rafael Benitez. But he could not prevent the Merseysiders slipping to their 10th defeat in 13 top-flight games. Emiliano Buendia’s header in first-half stoppage time settled the affair and left the Toffees in 16th spot.

They are five points above the relegation zone and need to start picking up points sooner rather than later.

Ferguson admitted that his men were below par in the first 45 minutes. But he felt they put in a decent shift as the game progressed.

“I thought first half we were off it, maybe a wee bit of stage fright. We didn’t create many chances at all in the first half,” he told BT Sport.

“But I thought the second half we gave everything, just lacking that bit of quality in the final third to stick one in. The effort was there, I couldn’t fault them in any way.”

Everton have had a number of games postponed due to Covid. Most clubs have been hit by the current wave.

And the former Goodison striker confessed that it is a case of all hands to the pump at the moment.

“I tried my best. The players tried the best,” he added. “Allan has had Covid and he’s not trained for a week and we put him in. So we made quite a few changes. You just have to try and do the best you possibly can.”

Ferguson happy to do his bit

The writing was on the wall for Benitez after a dreadful run of results. And defeat to Norwich City saw his tortuous tenure come to an end.

Many names have been put forward as possibilities to succeed the former Liverpool chief. Roberto Martinez was the early favourite but that door has now closed.

And ex-Everton striker Wayne Rooney is another man said to be in the frame. Ferguson is unconcerned and will just do what he is asked to for the best of the club.

“I’ll carry on until the new manager comes in. That’s it,” he said.

Everton are next in action on February 5 when they host Brentford in the FA Cup. League action returns on February 8 when they face a huge cash with fellow strugglers Newcastle at St James’ Park.

[teamtalk]

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